With summer playing hard to get, at least Canada’s indie scene is keeping the mood up with a series of poppy, energetic hits just made for trips to the beach and lounging out in the sun. Vancouver’s Alexandria Maillot is no exception, saving yet another release for the warm months that match her buoyant ways.
The winner of a number of singer/songwriter competitions has spent the past decade placing songs on television and working her way into a number of national and international features. She’s also chipped away at her own releases, launching Just Another Girl in 2012 after years of working on it—and waiting until 2016 to follow up with her latest, Time.
The album’s first single and opening track “Sunday Sara” paints a quirky picture in its video about diving in and getting your hands dirty, a neat contrast to a song filled with “indecision.” The dancing loops are muted in follow-up “Other Line,” a refreshing, echoing number that starts out with a breathy acoustic guitar touch and sweeps its way over the bridge.
“Smitten” emerges as a catchy successor to “Sunday Sara,” Maillot’s cutesy vocals feeling a bit more confident and matching the punchy stride of the accompanying keys. “Did You Want to Tell Me Something?” is one of the richest tracks on the new release, Maillot’s voice reaching beyond whimsy and tapping into something raw before cleanly layering the eponymous chorus and skipping to a halt.
It feels like there’s a bit of a soul infusion in “Time (On My Own),” a quick-hit about self-discovery that livens up the halfway point, while steady “The Floor” offers up a swaying waltz that intriguingly brings in an electric guitar riff to cut the sweetness.
But it’s country kick in “Lonely Soul” that really marks the second half of Time as the more experimental part—a nice show of range from Maillot, who proves there’s more to her repertoire than indie pop.
“Never Stop” coos, “I’ll make mistakes, I know I will,” as the snapping build wraps up the introspective release, weaving together Maillot’s self-awareness and the broken heart strewn throughout the nine songs. Still, the modern ballad provides ample space for her voice to soar as it scores one of the most instrumentally involved songs on the album—uniting her many directions into a satisfying close.
Top Tracks: “Did You Want to Tell Me Something?”; “Never Stop”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)