Paris-based Londoner ALA.NI releases ‘Papa’, the latest a cappella track to be released from her forthcoming self-written, produced & arranged new album, ACCA, out January 24, featuring guest spots from fans of hers including Iggy Pop and Lakeith Stanfield (Uncut Gems, Atlanta). Written and recorded a cappella (with no use of loops or sampling), the album is the follow-up to her widely praised debut, You & I, which secured ALA.NI other famous fans amongst the likes of David Lynch, David Byrne and Jean-Baptiste Mondino.
The accompanying video for ‘Papa’ was filmed over the course of a two day shoot last summer between Lake Como and the riverside woodlands of Switzerland’s Verzasca. ALA.NI spent a year working on lung capacity and underwater choreography for the submerged footage shot at Lake Como by Amati, whose passion for free diving informs the surreal, gravity-defying feel of her work.
Speaking about the track itself, ALA.NI says; “This song started out as a poem, written for a girlfriend with recurring dramas with men. A year after writing the poem and whilst in Mexico together, I read it to her. ‘Papa didn’t love me, any man take me.’ She quickly exclaimed ‘that is a song lyric!,’ so we proceeded to jam around this idea. I took it back to Paris and started to work on the production and soon realised, maybe these words are applicable to me also. Daddy issues… Oh the healing powers of music. No instruments used on this track, only vocals and a beatboxer. Studio walls were banged, chests, faces tapped and slapped and also a Cuban butt, all to create the percussion.”
A powerful vision of modern womanhood, ACCA is unflinching in its account of pain, anger, sadness, and growth. Written whilst on the road in spots including Paris, Mexico, Los Angeles, the UK and New York, ALA.NI created the album by layering up hundreds of vocal tracks, some of which imitate the sounds of instruments, building a hypnotic world that blurs the lines between vibrating vocal cords, bowed strings, and blown reeds. Written - as with You & I - a cappella, with ACCA, ALA.NI pushes a vocals-only technique to its furthest possibilities. “It was all pretty lo-fi on my end,” says ALA.NI, who often captured songs on the fly using a laptop whilst in transit. “I didn’t record to a click, I didn’t use a tuner; I’d just press record and lay down whatever came out.”