First Word Records are extremely proud to welcome aboard Allysha Joy and her first EP
for the label, ‘Light It Again’.
Well versed in poetry and performance, Allysha Joy’s potent lyricism, unique musicianship and killer vocals have garnered legions of attentive fans the world over. She’s an integral member of the Melbourne soul jazz scene, known as part of the acclaimed 30/70 Collective and for her own equally revered solo work.
‘Light It Again’ is a 4-part expedition across a variety of grooves and deep lyricism that marks a defiant statement of intimacy and hope. Produced and engineered by twice Grammy nominated artist Clever Austin, the EP features accompaniment from an all-star set of Melbourne artists; Horatio Luna, Ziggy Zeitgeist, Danika Smith and Josh Kelly. This EP marks a new sound for the young artist, transmitting her honest and raw expression through the signature crunch and sonic landscape of Clever Austin.
Allysha is already well established across Europe, performing on the live circuit alongside the likes of Sampa the Great, Matthew Halsall, Ezra Collective, Bradley Zero and Children of Zeus, as well as currently hosting two regular radio shows, on Worldwide FM and Reform Radio in Manchester respectively.
Her 2018 debut album ‘Acadie : Raw’ on Gondwana Records won ‘Best Soul Album’ at the Music Victoria Awards, was nominated for a Worldwide Award, and featured in many an end-of-year list, including Bandcamp’s Top Soul Albums, whilst she’s also featured on releases on UK labels such as Rhythm Section, Total Refreshment Centre and now an EP for First Word, ‘Light It Again’.
The EP touches on love, shame, mental health, grief & spirituality. ‘Watercolours’ sets off on a mid-tempo neo-soul jazz tip. Allysha says “I wrote this in the hope that maybe we could all feel the beauty that is present in the every day – in nature, in art, in each one of us mirroring each other so intrinsically. Then maybe we’d all start to live out a message of love.”
‘Better’ follows on an uptempo vibe influenced musically by The Senegambian Jazz Band, who Allysha would watch regularly at Bar Oussou in Melbourne. Lyrically the song explores the external and internal struggles that occur trying to create a more inclusive and compassionate world. “It’s about catching myself pointing the finger outwards to challenge social / political systems and certain individuals, then coming to the realisation that I must turn that finger back on myself to ask, “how can I do better, how can I know better?”
Lead track ‘Light It Again’ begins with Allysha’s keys gliding a steppa-like rhythm – head-snap snares and punchy bass accompany ethereal harmonies and delicate vibes on an ever-evolving groove before switching entirely mid-track. This time the subject matter is mental health and “the cycle of addiction and pain, the coping mechanisms that hold us back from reaching our true potential”.
The EP closes out with the beautiful ‘Mardi’; deep Rhodes, sax and synths build ahead of deliciously slushy percussion and jilted drums. Named for her grandmother, ‘Mardi’ is a tribute to the spiritual connection they shared before her passing. Allysha writes, “it’s about the connective forces of the matriarchal lineage and the drive to step into my own sense of self, in all the beauty and pain which that entails”.
Allysha’s lyrics weave together a heartfelt mix of love, power, desire, wonder, anger, faith and hope for change. An artist that presents a palette of intricate grace and optimism, whilst unafraid of adding uncomfortable truths. Allysha is an incredibly powerful live performer; her husky vocals sonically synced with her formidable Fender Rhodes playing, whilst her influences are a solid base of jazz, hip hop and R&B; all glazed with the unique special sauce the Melbourne soul scene has become known for globally. A gloriously meditative, raw soul, we are delighted to be able to share her music with you.
‘Light It Again’ is released on vinyl & digital worldwide, November 20th 2020.