An accessible, magic box of acoustic tricks for that all-important wider audience.
Elle J Small 2009-05-01
Equal measures Morcheeba, Corinne Bailey-Rae, Laura Marling and Bat For Lashes: enter London singer/guitarist Alessi Laurent-Marke and her whimsical lounge LP Notes From The Treehouse.
Breathy, folky, dreamy, pretty music bursts out of your speakers as 18-year-old Alessi begins with Magic Weather. Its peculiar lyrics, feathery harp and Alessi's impish melodies are the perfect introduction to this quirky acoustic star.
The Horse continues with the fairytale theme: just 2.14 minutes short, it may end abruptly but the message of unavailable love is delivered sweetly.
Sweeter still is Over The Hill with its simple ''I love you'' hook, layered guitars and wispy hints of adultery: ''It's just a shame that from the very beginning you’ve always been her man''.
It is at this point that you realise this cutesy-sounding, buttery bringer of folk fairytales isn't so angelic as she seems. Puppy dog eyes, yes, but don't all mistresses flutter those?
Still, older-than-her-years Alessi excels when coupling these gripping tales with her eccentric vocal and happy-go-lucky melodies. Venture too far to the left, however, and quirky becomes try-hard.
Constellations, for instance, aptly floats off into outer space; lost on many mere mortals. The Asteroids Collide - with its Bjork tribute band vibe - is also way too weird for the average ear.
Still, these cuts are in the minority and are easily outshone by a plethora of gorgeous melodies (Hummingbird, in particular, haunts and excites). What Alessi's Ark has achieved with Notes From The Treehouse is an accessible, magic box of acoustic tricks for that all-important wider audience.