Published Feb 08, 2017Begonia is the solo project of Winnipeg-based singer/songwriter Alexa Dirks. She has been best known as a member of Juno-winning group Chic Gamine, but is quickly generating attention on her own. "Juniper," one of the tracks from her new five-song EP, Lady in Mind, reached number one on CBC Radio 2's Top 20, and other cuts here have similar airplay potential.
Dirks covers wide stylistic terrain here, yet, impressively, the EP never sounds unfocused. "Juniper" is a folk-meets-soul hybrid, while the combination of a sparse arrangement and full-blooded vocals gives "Out of My Head" a neo-gospel feel. The light and jazzy touch of "Lady in Mind" brings Corinne Bailey Rae to mind, while "Hot Dog Stand" is a quieter tune in the folk singer/songwriter vein. Things close out strongly with "I Don't Wanna (Love U)," a bouncy retro-soul cut that again showcases the power of Dirks' voice.
Lyrically, she mines familiar relationship territory, but with enough subtlety to keep things interesting. Sample lyric: "I drink too much, makes me feel like everybody's problems are worse than mine" ("Hot Dog Stand"). If you're seeking out fresh musical voices, keep this lady in mind. (Independent)