Aluna turns a new leaf with her debut solo album “Renaissance” and proves she can throw her own tea party with a record fit for all the seasons.
Aluna began her musical career as part of the British musical duo, AlunaGeorge, an amalgam of Aluna Francis and George Reid. During their career, they have successfully published two albums, EPs and many collaborations with other popular electronic and dance music artists such as Disclosure, DJ Snake, KAYTRANADA and ZHU.
“I did feel a little bit self-conscious trying to drag George through my own process of self-discovery,” Aluna told British music magazine, NME. “I wrote a song before we put out the last EP which was about my mum and my grandma, and George is obviously supportive, but it’s just a bit weird, like ‘Hey, do you want to finish off this Black women’s anthem with me?’”
Despite deciding to explore their solo paths just a few years back, AlunaGeorge still work together. The duo collaborated on the tracks “Warrior” and “Body Pump” on Aluna’s new album.
Following the Aug. 28 album release, Aluna hosted “Renaissance Royal Rave,” a virtual performance on Spotify. During the event, the singer performed a handful of the 14 tracks from her album and added commentary on the creative process, all while occasionally sipping from her teacup.
Aluna admittedly coincides the sounds of her songs with different seasons. She considers “Get Paid” a summer song, while “Surrender” is described as having more of an, “autumn kind of sound.” She told fans that the whole album was written in the summertime.
I am all for listening to an album as was designed. However, if you’ve never heard of the singer, I highly recommend skipping to the second track “Warrior,” a collaboration that features AlunaGeorge and SG Lewis.
“I’ve been focusing on you / I’ve been hoping that’s the way to make you see me,” Aluna sings.
The sound is extraterrestrial, the lyrics are seductive and the song has the overall power to make one feel as though they are on their way to the Meatpacking District’s Tao Downtown or Buddakan, while riding in a Tesla cybertruck.
The introduction to “Sneak” is characteristic of Aluna’s modus operandi. She begins by attracting the audience with light vocals and then graces our ears with an irresistible dance beat.
To keep the audience on their toes, she does the exact opposite in the track “Don’t Hit My Line,” where she waits for 17 seconds before singing. The pace of the song coincides with the theme, where Aluna celebrates fierce independence.
“Don’t hit my line / Don’t waste my time,” she sings. “When I got nothing better / To do, I think of you / It don’t mean nothing more than / An excuse.”
Aluna gave listeners a visual and sonic taste of “Renaissance” on Aug. 20, when she released the official music video for the track “Envious.” The video, directed by Hamadou Frédéric Balde, could easily double as part music video and part Haute Couture visual look book. Aluna is in wonderland in this music video, with each costume change chicer than the next and with the magnificent naturalistic background.
Much like fall, “Renaissance” holds a feel-good vibe and a much-needed celebration of life given the truly unfortunate and devastating spring and summer months preceding its creation.