It is always exciting for me when I find new acts from across the globe – acts that without the internet (specifically this blog) I may never get a chance to enjoy. A couple of weeks ago, I was blessed with the latest offering from New Zealand group ALAE, and I have been rocking it ever since. While the group has had a successful run to date, a new partnership with Los Angeles indie label Anti-Gravity Records and Warner Music Canada is promising to take things to the next level.
Preparing to release their new EP next year, ALAE has just unleashed the lead single from the project, a smooth, soulful tune called, “Hit Me Where It Hurts”. Created along with producer Justin Gray during a session at the APRA AMCOS Songhubs initiative in March, their new single sees the group taking things in a new direction and opening up their minds to new possibilities. About how the track came about, songwriter and vocalist Alex Farrel-Davey states, “Hit Me Where It Hurts was the first song I’ve ever written in a group situation, and with people I don’t know. The process was massively unfamiliar, but it flowed so well. It’s really opened my mind to to a more collaborative songwriting process, which is something I would have been really closed off to previously. It was a real privilege to work with such a knowledgeable collective.”
Released along with an official video that saw the group reach out to a handful of top notch New Zealand directors and giving them all a section of the song to interpret – without knowing what the rest of the video would be like – the video is a one of a kind presentation of scattered ideas seamlessly pieced together into a brilliant work of art. Speaking on the process, director Chris Graham says, “We all agreed to embrace the mystery of the whole concept, and likened it to the shared drawings from primary school days, where someone drew the head & folded it over, the next person drew the torso and so on. When we screened it for the first time all together, it felt like Christmas and each director’s segment was like opening another surprise present.”