No matter your language, music can warm your heart and unlock a series of thoughts and aspirations. One artist that excels at such a herculean task is the Londoner, Ilja Alexander. His newest release “Butterfly” from his upcoming album Nature is characteristically thought-provoking.
Following in the footsteps of his previous releases from Nature, “Someday” and “I’ll Wait” – this song provides passport access to a dreamlike setting by Alexander’s own devising. His silk-laced vocals and the chorus lyrics do you know what I’ve been hiding from / do you know what’s on my mind? (repeat), allow the listener a stamped access to a bevy of natural sounds squirmed into the computer, only to be outputted in a Hallmark-card like rhythm.
The song’s dynamic, sparkling music bed is awash against Alexander’s cherub-like vocals. The feeling of his voice is like the smooth chocolate Dove bar. He’s sweet. “Butterfly” has this strong essence of total relaxation, a la the kind you get in a float pod. The beat, the drum work is tight, tracing the outer, bold vocal lines. The drum feels epic, but not as strong as the spotlight on Alexander’s vocal presence. His pulling power just can’t be ignored. His magnetism with each measure grows and the song might have a smooth path it follows, Alexander’s singing carries the listener on his back each step of the journey. He has an immeasurable amount of love inside his voice and he’s not afraid to use it.
The verdict? “Butterfly” is that warm, feel-good song that’s more than needed to unite, rather than divide. I wish the lyrics had a bit more depth, but like any great pop song, it’s not necessary. Less can be more in most cases, and that is true for this particular listening experience. Slow down and be still, Alexander urges his audience. His reminder is a life lesson, for sure. He makes you believe in the simple things, that all things big and small matter in the puzzle that makes up our life. Everything in the ecosystem is part of the bigger picture.
Born in the Netherlands, Alexander, studied piano growing up. In “Butterfly” his music bed, tip-toeing along, favors listeners that enjoy pianists like Jim Brickman, Yanni, John Tesh, but credo must be given for the electronic dance factor he inserts. A murmuring, a humming of sorts sounds like many voices, but in tandem with a wall of synthesizers, it nearly sounds like a whisper. Breathing in that almost hymnal-like sound, the listener connects on a whole higher, intense level. Let it out, exhaling the negative endorphins. That flavor, that layer, gives listeners that enjoy Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark (OMD) and the New Wave sound something to peak their interest and tickle their fancy. He knows when to drop the beat; the listener pursues the fallout, hovering over each note. “Butterfly” is a solid hit and the perfect escape for the summer.
by Jordan Raab