. . . . " I could be a thief dressed as black as the night. You could try and stop me, you could try to fight, but I'd win . . . or you could let me in," sings 20-year-old Alyssa Bonagura on 'Steal Away"— one of five enticing releases from her new " Before the Breaking" EP.
Intelligent, mature song-writing, rich vocals and musicianship all wrapped in a heartfelt delivery makes this versatile young singer/songwriter hard to resist as she chronicles the journey of a relationship
before a break up. Alyssa delivers the angst and pain with conviction, but there is always an undertone of insight and optimism. She remembers the sweet as well as the bitter. On "Hush, Don't Cry", a beautiful song accented by a haunting electric guitar track, she sings . . . " take my hand and we'll run as fast as we can . . . stay with me, be the air that I breathe."
The mostly acoustic instrumentation on this release is just right. The textures complimenting Bonagura's straight-from-the-heart style and keeps her clear convicting vocals upfront. The rhythms are catchy and augmented with tasteful runs and embellishments.
Alyssa, who splits her time between Liverpool, England and Nashville, Tennessee, recorded, produced, performed, and mixed the material on "Before the Breaking", as well as wrote or co-wrote all of the songs.
On "Hey Cowboy", an earnest appeal from across the ocean to not be forgotten, she asks: . . . " did you get my letter?. . . . me and you were right where we belong . . . I'm still loving you from halfway across the world."
In the soft reflections of "Till You Loved Me", she recalls: . . . " I was broken 'till you picked up the parts." Navigating the twisting landscape of a relationship an be tricky, but Alyssa covers the territory elegantly.
As the relationship declines, the collection culminates in the honest, country-influenced treatment of "Why Don't We Say Goodbye" . . . " there's no turning back when you're this broken down . . . just a matter of
time— so why don't we say good-bye . . . love is everything we need, but it won't live if it can't breathe."
At age 11, Alyssa, who is the daughter of country hit-makers Michael and Kathie (Baillie) Bonagura from the popular group Baillie and the Boys, was dueting on a Kenny Roger's Christmas album. Now she performs regularly at Baillie and the Boys' live shows and made multiple contributions to her mother's recent solo album that garnered 3 preliminary Grammy nominations.
With " Before the Breaking" Alyssa is carving out her own musical presence, combining her influences from both sides of the Atlantic into a rich menagerie. Talented Australian Jedd Hughes lends co-writing credit on "Steal Away," and harmonies on "Why Don't We Say Goodbye,” and gifted Ross Copperman lends co-writing credit on “Hush Don’t Cry.”
Alyssa Bonagura's new EP draws us in with confident, crafted song-writing woven beautifully together with her heartfelt vocals. "Before the Breaking" has a wisdom beyond her years. Rarely has love and loss been so listenable.