Alana Stewart makes the kind of music that slows the world down, the shadows lengthening and the colour fading until the image cracks a little at the edges. Now signed to London’s Chess Club label, the twenty-two year old singer/songwriter was discovered entrancing nocturnal audiences of commuters and insomniacs on the platforms and corridors of New York subways, her languorous sound a salve for the city’s fatigues.
‘Perfervid’ showcases Stewart’s talents well, paring back the instrumentation to foreground her voice, coiled and restrained and – appropriately, given the song’s title – shivering with passion. It’s a riposte to a society in perpetual acceleration, where attention spans flicker like neon signs above seedy bars and art lies in thrall to commerce, her sultry, post-coital vocals flecked with darker hues and tinged with defiance.
Alana Stewart will be playing London’s The Old Queens Head on June 30th.