The debut self-titled solo album ALONSO is the story of passion, of Love, of loss, and of the oh-so-relatable intimate realization of purpose in a self-expressed journey. This story begins a long time ago though. It swims in the pool of emotion that everyone that has been in Love swims in. There's a palpable sincerity in the romance that these songs express. From the album's love-at-first-sight opening line "I'm floating away..." through to the encapsulating last lyric "...Here. Now. On." the message makes itself beautifully clear. Love is no minor venture. And to experience it in intimate terms is a profound, life changing experience. Relatable? Very. Arresting? Of course.
Although ALONSO doesn't draw from any obvious influences, it's not unlikely, upon first listen that one is reminded of the emotion that Seal and Sade expressed consistently throughout their musical journeys. Mix that mood in half with the art school derived panache of David Sylvian and Peter Gabriel, blended with the lyrical profundity of Leonard Cohen and you might be able to pin this aesthetic. Of course, considering the innovative electro-latin-jazz rhythmic elements juxta-apposed to the ubiquitous and emotional Spanish guitar playing that's present on each of the seven songs on this album, and you might reasonably catch whiffs of Bon Iver, Banners, David Blake, and the world beat of Jesse Cook and David Byrne (to put those melancholic Spanish guitars and moody vocal melodies in context).
But this story started long ago... as the founding member, principle songwriter and uniquely asserted Chapman Stickist of the iconic Toronto alternative band Glueleg; ALONSO recorded and released three albums in the 1990's for EMI Canada. With these critically acclaimed albums, eight Canadian National tours (including countless supporting shows with Our Lady Peace, I Mother Earth and The Tea Party, in 2000+ seat venues) a solid and positively consistent impression was left with audiences across the country. And then, over time, something special happened... as fans steeped in the music, a cult following was born. 20 years later, Glueleg's albums can still be heard on commercial and college radio stations, and in the homes of diehard fans of the band across Canada to this day. Further, the hit single "Heroic Doses" still receives regular international TV exposure as it was featured in an episode of the classic Canadian TV series "Due South" through syndication in Scandinavia, Western Europe, Central America and South East Asia.
ALONSO was written and recorded throughout 2016 and meticulously produced by James Stewart. The attention to detail in the performances and final mixes where done with a craft that was wielded by an expert. Having produced and engineered 2 of the 4 Glueleg albums, including "Heroic Doses", and albums for the Barenaked Ladies, Kim Mitchell and Holly Cole, James has poured his passion thoroughly over every inch of this music. And then, tragically, James passed away. On the second last session of the final mixes of this album. Several months were spent mourning his loss, and painstakingly completing the final touches of his mixes. As per James' desires, the album was mastered in Toronto by João Carvalho. This album is dedicated to the memory of James.