A Lot Less Gold, Alex Vissia’s debut solo album, resonates with just what the title suggests: a lack of excess. Recorded in a farmhouse loft outside of Edmonton and two bedroom “studios” with 5 young innovative musicians, the record is a testament to how music can make an impact from the grassroots level without the need for big money or big names.
You will immediately recognize Alex’s warm, roots-influenced vocal sound on the opening track, Get Well Soon, a resonance reminiscent of Serena Ryder and Brandi Carlile. Alex’s prose dives deep into personal revelations and at times, as in Ursa, poses questions of societal and environmental responsibilities. The band weaves these lyrical short stories with sometimes powerful, sometimes subtle textures in the organ (Alex Vissia), drums (Nich Davies), bass (Kurtis Cockerill), saxophone (Savic Panylyk) and guitars (Alex Vissia, Jeff Kynoch). Listen for the soulful tenor solo on Don’t Tell Me Riddles, the dramatic bass ostinato on Ursa, the haunting organ pad in the bridge of Wild Fig Tree, and the organic yet driving nature of the drums on Blue Flowers.
Released November 10th (2011; independent), A Lot Less Gold is an honest first effort deserving of attention. Alex's writing has come a long way from the sweet, bluegrass-tinged sounds of her roots. She draws poetic inspiration from her favourite songwriters, such as Josh Ritter, Jeff Tweedy (Wilco), John K. Samson (The Weakerthans) and Neko Case. In her preferred ensemble–a dynamic and versatile trio–Alex shares the stage with Nich Davies on drums and Kurtis Cockerill on bass.