Album Review: Alanna Lyes – Lies Here

Lies Here is the debut solo album from York-based singer songwriter Alanna Lyes.

By Graeme Smith

Though this is Alanna’s first full-length release under her own name, she’s not new to the scene. Frontwoman of Grinny Grandad and guest vocalist on a number of electro swing records, her voice is already well known among those who follow the genre. Yet, Lies Here represents a change of direction for Alanna. She hasn’t abandoned electro swing completely, but in this album she branches out into trip-hop and downtempo numbers too.

As she intimated to me in an interview we did for our The 5 Albums You’ll Hear In Heaven podcast, Alanna was keen to combine her electro swing influences with other types of music she loves to create her own unique sound. Those other genres include R&B, trip hop and James Bond theme-esque anthems. The result certainly does feel unique, but more importantly coherent. Listening to the Lies Here from start to finish is a consistent experience, and one you can get lost in.

Starting with the vintage-feeling Back Around, there is an uplifting blend of brass and bass that perfectly set the tone for what is to come. Alanna’s vocals are as beautifully charismatic as always, even incorporates some pop-style rapping for texture.

From there, the album moves into the gentle ballad Mine. It’s here the album’s main recurring theme enters, one of self-empowerment and self-ownership, making it feel like a record for today’s world. Things stay downtempo with Wonder before cantering into the loud-quiet Both Feet. Broken Paradise brings back the vintage-feel, the rapping and the self-affirming lyrics and acts as a wonderful closer to the album’s first act.

From there, things get big. First, the sultry, sax-heavy Loving Me Is So Much Better. Essentially a love song to herself, the album’s theme is at its most overt here, and as a result its most powerful. Previously released single Disappear comes next – the album’s lynchpin, then it’s dance track Diver.

Moving into the album’s closing tracks, it’s here that Alanna’s pushes her musical boundaries. The atmospheric Overnight features spoken word verses and mournful strings. Supernova brings heavy bass, electronica, ethereal soul and R&B sensibilities. Combining it all into one track is simply breath-taking. The final couplet of My House and To My Former Self tie up the album’s theme nicely while introducing hip hop and dream pop elements.

Lies Here is a stunning debut from one of York’s best musicians. Alanna has put so much of herself into it and it shows. The album is out on Friday – make sure it’s in your rotation!

Lies Here by Alanna Lyes is set for release Friday 22 October 2021.