First Listen: ALA.NI, 'You & I'

ALA.NI
ALA.NI (Courtesy of artist)

A few weeks ago, several Current staffers went to Philadelphia to attend the NON-COMMvention, an annual gathering of like-minded radio and industry folks from around the country. At the convention, there are also about 30 bands that perform across three days, and while you kind of know what to expect from seeing Blondie or The Pixies or Real Estate, one of the real joys is when you walk in cold and end up falling in love with an artist on first listen.

That's what happened for me with ALA.NI. She's a Paris-based singer, who has worked with Damon Albarn and other artists in the background, but has stepped forward in a big way with her album You and I. Backed with simple instrumentation, ALA.NI has an incredible delivery on these precious and delicate songs, and it's almost like you're listening to an old Billie Holliday record (partially due to her use of a 1939 RCA ribbon mic — which she travels with to all her shows!).

A full room of 600 people, stunned to silence, all discovering a new voice and personality and welcoming her to their hearts — If she gets to your town, see her show, and in the meantime, here's a First Listen to You and I.