With roots in the country and folk traditions of songwriting, Alex Vissia (VISS-ee-uh) manages to keep a steady gaze on lyricism while moving beyond the constraints of a single genre. “Folk-rock I suppose you would call her... yet it seems like there is a ‘rocker chick’ inside her somewhere, maybe just a swig of whiskey away.” NewMusicMichael.com
The first thing you will notice about Alex is her voice. She can draw you in like a whisper and shake your soul, all in the same breath. She captures you with the way she weaves her words, but with the crunch of a chord, she’ll just as easily drive you back out to sea. Deliberate, sentimental, sometimes moody, and often bittersweet, Alex writes songs that are noticeably personal. You will want to sit– volume up, lights low– and really listen. But that doesn’t mean that she won’t move you. Because she will.
Since the release of her debut album (A Lot Less Gold; November 2011), Alex has been touring Western Canada steadily, having performed upwards of 100 dates in just over a year. From the lush greenery of Vancouver Island, to the wide prairie skies of Manitoba, Alex has been receiving praise for her powerhouse vocals and lyrical prowess.
Young Love is Alex's second release (May 2013), a laid-back, rootsy-rock EP of 3 original songs and 3 rearranged classics. If A Lot Less Gold is a full-bodied glass of red, then Young Love is closer to a heart-wrenching swig of whiskey.
Young Love (from the upcoming Young Love) - http://youtu.be/C7Sr7laxqXk
Room to Grow (from the upcoming Young Love) - http://youtu.be/BcqkMTCeKYE
Fragile Bones (from A Lot Less Gold) - http://youtu.be/qZfRjWf6lts
Alex Vissia - Vocals, Guitar
Nich Davies - Drumset
Kurtis Cockerill - Bass
Release Date: May 24, 2013
Genre: Roots Rock
1. Young Love
3. Room to Grow
4. Heat Wave
5. Letting Go
6. She's Leaving Home
Tracks 1, 3 & 5 written by Alex Vissia (SOCAN).
Track 2 written by Gordon Lightfoot.
Track 4 written by Holland/Dozier/Holland.
Track 6 written by Lennon/McCartney.
A Lot Less Gold
Release Date: Nov. 10, 2011
1. Get Well Soon
3. Goodnight, Moonlight
4. Blue Flowers
5. Don't Tell Me Riddles
6. Ghostly Yearning
7. Fragile Bones
9. Wild Fig Tree
All songs written by Alex Vissia (SOCAN).
CTV Edmonton: Interview & Live Performance
Alex Vissia performs on CTV Morning Live.
Alex Vissia Dishes on Young Love
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"Singer-songwriter Alex Vissia’s new folk-blues EP, Young Love, tends to reflect on the ouc..."Singer-songwriter Alex Vissia’s new folk-blues EP, Young Love, tends to reflect on the ouchier side — communication breakdowns, heavy hearts and the need to move on."
Alex Vissia: Album Release Friday Night
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"I’ve listened to [Young Love] a few times, and am incredibly impressed. Soulful, sultry-guitar..."I’ve listened to [Young Love] a few times, and am incredibly impressed. Soulful, sultry-guitar folk-alt-folk. Honestly, you can never go wrong listening to [Alex's] music or seeing her live. Huge fan."
Young Love Album Review
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"The best tracks on Young Love are the ones Alex penned herself; she is a brilliant and thought..."The best tracks on Young Love are the ones Alex penned herself; she is a brilliant and thoughtful lyricist. The title track is fantastic; “Letting Go” and “Room to Grow” are both sentimental and self-explanatory. Those three alone would make a pretty impressive EP."
Alex Vissia: There’s Nothing She’d Rather Do
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"...Vissia wants a connection with the audience. She wants to engage her listeners and have them fee..."...Vissia wants a connection with the audience. She wants to engage her listeners and have them feel something by the time she leaves the stage."
A Passion for Performing
A little bit of country, a little bit of rock and roll
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"Audiences will hear all nine tracks from A Lot Less Gold, which harkens back to her roots and count..."Audiences will hear all nine tracks from A Lot Less Gold, which harkens back to her roots and country beginnings only with a heavier sound. [Alex's] music, she said, is rock and roll."
Singer Alex Vissia Opens Up About New Album A Lot Less Gold
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"Her latest effort, the cryptic A Lot Less Gold, is the sort of album that rewards multiple listens...."Her latest effort, the cryptic A Lot Less Gold, is the sort of album that rewards multiple listens. Readily accessible yet slow to surrender its secrets, the record offers ample opportunities for exploration — and some old fashioned rock & roll."
Alex Vissia looking forward to being part of Prairie Folk Tournament
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Alex Vissia is looking forward to bringing her band back to the Owl Acoustic Lounge, March 16 to pla...Alex Vissia is looking forward to bringing her band back to the Owl Acoustic Lounge, March 16 to play the Prairie Folk Festival with Spencer Jo and the Wood Sprites.
“It should be great,” she said, adding she is looking forward to hearing the Wood Sprites, who she has never heard before, though she knows Spencer Jo.
Vissia just released her first solo CD “A Lot Less Gold.”
“It’s been received really, really well, though I still have some work to do on it,” she said.
“I’ll be playing the songs from the new CD again and a couple other rearranged covers,” she said.
“Eventually I’ll start writing again because I’ll have to put out another album, but for now I’m going to focus on this record,” she said.
Vissia, who teaches guitar part time when not on tour is not only planning a big tour for May, out to B.C. and back but will be including several Alberta dates on her way to and from Lethbridge.
“Then we’ll come home for a few days and hit the road again for five shows in Saskatchewan.
“I’ve got two part time jobs. I teach guitar and play around Edmonton. During the summer, school’s out and I have to plan ahead to get cash together to pay the rent. It’s kind of a different existence, but one most musicians have,” she said.
— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
New Music: Alex Vissia
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“If you want to be well be well and stop dwelling on wishes and wishing on wells…” With lyrics li...“If you want to be well be well and stop dwelling on wishes and wishing on wells…”
With lyrics like that, Alex Vissia attacks your heart with each pluck of her guitar. Singing rock/country songs with the clear and sultry voice that Lana Del Rey pretends to have, Vissia delivers pearls of wisdom for your foolish ears.
Coming off nearly ten years of songwriting and performing, she has wowed us with her first solo album, A Lot Less Gold. According to Vissia herself, the album, which was recorded on a very small budget in three separate “bedroom studios” in the Edmonton area of Alberta, Canada, “embodies what ‘grassroots’ is about.”
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Alberta singer/songwriter Alex Vissia writes good songs and has a fine voice to do it with. She'...Alberta singer/songwriter Alex Vissia writes good songs and has a fine voice to do it with. She's young, and is definitely going places.
Big Journey, Bigger Voice: Alex Vissia Takes Her Debut Disc on the Road
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Alex Vissia is riding shotgun in a GMC Sierra, cruising to a show in Brandon, Manitoba. She and ...Alex Vissia is riding shotgun in a GMC Sierra, cruising to a show in Brandon, Manitoba.
She and her band mates, bassist Kurtis Cockerill and drummer Nich Davies played a show the night before in Winnipeg. They are at the tale end of the most ambitious tour she's ever embarked upon, stretching from Victoria to Winnipeg, in support of her excellent debut solo disc, A Lot Less Gold. The appropriate cliche to use in this scenario would be to say that it's a far cry from her days of singing in choirs in her home town of Stony Plain, but it really doesn't apply. You see, the Eva Cassidy-meets-Serena Ryder vocals that propel her debut, are those of a mere 22 year old.
Vissia started playing piano at the age of five. Around the time that she turned 12, she and her sisters, Andrea and Aleisha, started singing in a church choir. A choir organizer, who just happened to teach vocal classes, noticed the exceptional talents that the Vissia sisters possessed, and encouraged them to take lessons.
Around this time, Alex was turned on to country music. "I think for me growing up in a small town, more rurally, that's where the country and western influences started," she says. "That's the first kind of music I got into. The first music I wrote was definitely country."
It was that fondness for country and western that inspired her to pick up the guitar, take a few years worth of lessons and write her own songs. That lead to forming a group with her sisters (appropriately titled The Vissia Sisters, and later, the Plain Janes).
While it was her rural upbringing that cultivated her love of, and desire to learn how to make, music, it was a move to the big city that paved the way for the artist behind the nine tracks that make up her debut. About three years ago, Alex and her sisters decided to take a break from performing, and she moved to the big city, to take the Music Diploma Program at Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton.
It was a life altering experience for Alex. "That's where I met my bandmates. The album is all MacEwan graduates which is kind of cool. MacEwan was a huge step for me in opening my mind a bit more to different styles of music, like jazz." She became very good friends with Davies and Cockerill, and the three of them have been playing together for over a year now.
Although the sometimes moody tracks on 'Gold' give the album a distinct winter vibe, the three recorded the album over a couple of months this past summer at Edmonton's Hitsville USA studio. Vissia admits the tone of the record does seem to match that of an Alberta winter night. "A lot of the themes that are running through those songs aren't necessarily joyful. Writing, I think for a lot of song writers, it's therapy in a way." It's hard not to notice the intensely personal nature of songs like Blue Flowers and Ghostly Yearning, which are powered by her rich, mature vocals. "All of the songs on the people are about people I've met or had relationships with," she admits. "It's very important to do what you feel is natural. That you can come across in the most honest way you can."
Now that she's found a band, made an album, her focus shifts to making a name for herself, a challenge she's tackling head-on through her late fall jaunt across western Canada. "It's a bit stressful in that you have to do it all by yourself. I think the hardest part is the promotions side of it, getting enough promotion in areas where you might not know anybody yet, other than maybe the venue owner." Although the crowds at some of the shows have been small, Vissia knows it's a long road. "We had a few goals for this tour. The first goal was to get the album out there. The other was to meet people and get to know people in all of the different areas, so that the next time we go through, we already know a few people there." So far, it appears to be working. "We have met nice people in every place we played," she adds.
Back in the GMC (that's been dubbed "The Alberta Mobile"), driving down an unfamiliar highway, with the sounds of Old Yale and Black Dub in the background, she is energized by having the opportunity to take her songs on the road. "You're far away from home, driving, maybe after the show and I just think wow, I can't believe we're actually doing this, because you end up talking about it for a long time before you actually end up doing it. It's kind of surreal."
With that voice, and at just 22, there are no doubt many more surreal moments in her future.
- Matthew Bisson
Vissia Tries Out New Sound with Her Debut Solo Album
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Though she started her music career as a young woman in a folk-roots trio with her two younger siste...Though she started her music career as a young woman in a folk-roots trio with her two younger sisters, Alex Vissia is ready to fly solo for a while. The Stony Plain, Alta., native recently released her debut record, A Lot Less Gold. The album finds her moving away from the sweet, bluegrass tunes of her early years to an electric guitar-based sound that draws poetically on her favourite songwriters, including Neko Case and John K. Samson.
- Stephanie McKay
Weekend Guide with Alex Vissia @ Palomino Saturday Nov 26th!
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Alex Vissia just released an album called “A Lot Less Gold”, as seen above. She is an Edmonton based...Alex Vissia just released an album called “A Lot Less Gold”, as seen above. She is an Edmonton based musician, and she is going to sing her songs here in Calgary at the Palomino this Saturday!!!
So this weekend you my as well stay at the Palomino, because you’ll be there Friday night for Alkatine and Million Dollar Fix, and then this sweet heart will croon you into falling in love with her Saturday.
Her website is linked above, but also check the Facebook page too and keep up to date with what Alex is up to.
Keep your eyes here as well for an upcoming Album review of “A Lot Less Gold”, but if you can’t wait, just go buy it on Saturday and enjoy it yourself. Seriously.
- Jonathen MacDonald
Ear Full: A Lot Less Gold Album Review
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When I first started listening to A Lot Less Gold I thought it would be another generic folk album. ...When I first started listening to A Lot Less Gold I thought it would be another generic folk album. But, upon hearing the chorus of “Get Well Soon” and “Ursa,” I was convinced otherwise. The album continues in a positive direction. “Blue Flowers” is a more upbeat tune that draws much of its colour from the percussion. After the sombre sounds of “Don’t Tell Me Riddles,” the album loses some steam, not standing out as much in A Lot Less Gold’s second half.
Alex Vissia Introduces Audience to Original Folk Pop
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Over at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Nov. 12 Alex Vissia and her trio entertained a decent sized crowd w...Over at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Nov. 12 Alex Vissia and her trio entertained a decent sized crowd with her beautiful folk /pop stylings.
She reminded me a lot of Serena Ryder with her beautifully warbling voice.
She showed some superb vocal range and played some catchy gutiar as her band kept step behind her. They took five for a spell as she donned an acoustic guitar and showed she could carry things on her own, thaough, the band definitely enhanced her music.
The audience had thinned somewhat by the time she took the stage for her second set, however the ones who remained were happy to dance.
- Richard Amery
A Little Rock & Country at Joe's
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Alberta songstress Alex Vissia's first Western Canadian Tour comes to Joe's Garage in Courtenay this...Alberta songstress Alex Vissia's first Western Canadian Tour comes to Joe's Garage in Courtenay this Friday.
Entrenched in the roots of rock and country but with a more sophisticated lyrical lean, Vissia will have you captivated by the time she sings her first sentence. Growing up just outside of Edmonton in a town called Stony Plain, Vissia began at the piano bench.
Eight years later at the age of 13, she had learned enough chords on guitar to write her first song. Vissia and her two younger sisters then started a folk-roots band, with Vissia leading the trio on vocals and guitar.
This young trio impressed everyone they played for, and Vissia started gaining experience from this exposure. Over their years together, the trio played at such prestigious events as Canadian Country Music Week (Gospel Showcase 2004), the Edmonton Folk Festival (2008) and the Vancouver 2010 Olympics (Alberta House showcase) and was even nominated at the Canadian Folk Music Awards — twice (Youth Performers of the Year 2006 and 2007).
These experiences cultivated Vissia’s creative growth, which eventually led her to Edmonton, to broaden her understanding of music. Her reflections on life expanded as well.
Just as her guitar helped bring the expression of music and poetry together in earlier years, she was now older, perhaps a bit wiser and had a lot more to say.
In the summer of 2011, Vissia graduated from Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton with a diploma in Music Composition.
After nearly 10 years of writing songs and performing professionally, she has started a new chapter with the release of her highly anticipated first album as a solo artist, A Lot Less Gold.
Vissia's writing has come a long way from the sweet, bluegrass-tinged sounds of her roots. She draws poetic inspiration from her favourite songwriters, such as Josh Ritter, Jeff Tweedy (Wilco), John K. Samson (The Weakerthans) and Neko Case. Her vocal sound is reminiscent of the warmth of Brandi Carlile, combined with the sincerity of Serena Ryder's fearless delivery. Backed by drums, bass and now playing an electric guitar, Vissia resonates onstage with an energy that genuinely comes from within.
Released Nov. 10, A Lot Less Gold promises to be an honest first effort deserving of attention. Catch Vissia live with her trio on her Western Canadian Tour this November and December.
Album Review: Alex Vissia Mines a Lot of Gold on Debut CD
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Edmonton singer-songwriter Alex Vissia makes an auspicious debut with her first CD “A Lot Less Gold...Edmonton singer-songwriter Alex Vissia makes an auspicious debut with her first CD “A Lot Less Gold.”
There is a lot of Serena Ryder in her voice as well as numerous other female singers like Sheryl Crow and a touch of Sue Foley.
She starts her CD with an upbeat, jangling, country pop number “Get Well Soon.”
Her young, vibrant, and very appealing voice also has elements of jazz especially on ““Goodnight Moonlight,” in which she is reminiscent of Little Miss Higgins’ Jolene Higgins.
She picks up the tempo on the catchy “Blue Flowers,” which is reminiscent of Hannah Georgas.
Sexy, sultry sax underlies her mellower jazz influences on “Don’t Tell Me Riddles.” while maintaining the Hannah Georgas pop sensibilities.
One of theme absolute favourites is “Cement,” an upbeat catchy, alt-countryish number, which would be at home being played among any number of Lilith Fair type artists and which makes the listeners’ ears perk up immediately. Beautiful.
She ends the CD with “Wild Fig Tree,” a slower, arpeggio powered number featuring mournful Wurlitzer organ. Here’s hoping she has a lot more gold where “A Lot Less Gold” came from.
Songstress to Play at Bud's
LIVE! Alex Vissia at The Artery (Pics & Tour Dates)
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Last night I had the good fortune to start the long weekend off with a bang, as I went to the releas...Last night I had the good fortune to start the long weekend off with a bang, as I went to the release party for Alex Vissia’s debut solo album at The Artery. I’d never been to the Artery before, it’s an interesting space just east of the downtown core – some chairs scattered in front, some bleachers stage right, and then an odd mezzanine level with various seating places stage left to center. The different levels give it a bit of a different feel than most venues, and give it a bit of a quirky ambience. The opening act, Laura Swankey, was actually not even on the main stage, but a side stage in front of the bleachers. Which made the changeover much quicker – I didn’t even have my camera out when Alex started up.
I love her attitude, by the way. She’s got this sweet, soulful voice, she’s an amazing songwriter … folk rock I suppose you’d call her (she didn’t even touch an acoustic in the first set), but yet it seems like there’s a ‘rocker chick’ inside her somewhere, maybe just a swig of whiskey away. I absolutely loved her music, and am definitely psyched to listen to the album in the coming days. It’s called “A Lot Less Gold”, and is – obviously – now available. Definitely check it out when you get a chance. Last night was also the start of a tour of the western provinces as well (full itinerary below), so get out and see her when she’s coming your way. You won’t be disappointed.
Vissia to Play Waves Coffee House
Alex Vissia Looking Forward to Her Lethbridge Debut
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Edmonton based singer-songwriter Alex Vissia is looking forward to her first solo tour, which comes ...Edmonton based singer-songwriter Alex Vissia is looking forward to her first solo tour, which comes to the Owl AcousticLounge, Nov. 12.
“I’ll be playing as a trio with a drummer and bass player,” said Vissia, whose folk-rock stylings are often compared to Serena Ryder and Brandi Carlile.
“It’s folk music, but the bass and drums add a rock element to it,” she said.
She is looking forward to introducing people to her debut CD “ A Lot Less Gold.” and to meeting Lethbridge audiences as she has never played here before.
“It’s 15 shows in all. We’ll be going from Vancouver Island to Winnipeg. So it’s going to be pretty exciting,” she said.
“ I’m really proud of the album, so I’m looking forward to getting it out there. And it’s going to be interesting to meet other musicians out on tour,” she said.
She hadn’t intended to record a full length CD on a shoestring budget.
“I originally intended to record a five song EP, but it turned out to be a nine song album.”
She recorded it in Edmonton with some of the musicians she went to university with.
“ They just got delivered to my door. So I’m pretty excited,” she enthused.
“It goes to show you don't need to spend a tonne of money or get a famous name to make a good album. It’s just exciting and friendly,” she said.
Alex Vissia and her trio play the Owl Acoustic Lounge at approximately 9 p.m. The Magnetic North are also on the bill. There is no cover.
- By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Vissia Sisters, a.k.a. Plain Janes, Play Edmonton's Artery on Nov. 10th
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The Vissia Sisters, also known as the Plain Janes, are as much a staple of Edmonton’s folk-roots sce...The Vissia Sisters, also known as the Plain Janes, are as much a staple of Edmonton’s folk-roots scene as Bill Bourne or the McDades.
The trio of Alex, Aleisha and Andi started playing when they were barely into their teens, and after 10 years, they’re opting to take break from the music business.
Except for Alex. While her sisters are starting their careers as university students, she’s finished her music studies at Grant MacEwan and is about to release her solo pop-folk debut, A Lot Less Gold.
Alex’s trio and folk-jazz artist Laura Swankey will perform Thursday, Nov. 10 at The ARTery, 9535 Jasper Avenue.
Tickets are $15 plus service charges at yeglive.ca or Blackbyrd Myoozik and include a copy of A Lot Less Gold.
Doors open at 8 p.m.
- Sandra Sperounes
Alex Vissia: CD Release Party Next Thursday At Artery / Western Tour
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I love getting email from local artists. I wish I could talk about all of them, but unfortunately so...I love getting email from local artists. I wish I could talk about all of them, but unfortunately some of their music just doesn’t really fit the genres I cover. But in the meantime, one artist who is exceptionally talented, and I’m overjoyed that I get to talk about, is Alex Vissia, who will be performing next Thursday (November 10) at the Artery for a release party! The folk songstress will be singing songs from her debut full-length solo album titled “A Lot Less Gold”, after putting in years and years in a trio with her sisters (The Plain Janes, whom performed at the 2008 Edmonton Folk Music Festival, an impressive achievement in itself). She also just graduated from Grant MacEwan University’s Music Composition program here in Edmonton.
The album itself was recorded in a “farmhouse loft just outside of Edmonton and two bedroom ‘studios’” with Nich Davies (drums), Kurtis Cockerill (bass), Savic Panylyk (saxophone), and Jeff Knyoch (guitar); Alex also plays the guitar herself. Her folk-roots sound will probably remind you of Serena Ryder and Brandi Carlile; if you want a sneak preview of some her tunes, check out her website here.
Opening for Alex at the release party will be Laura Swankey.
After that, Alex and friends will be heading out on the road, hitting a number of cities across Canada’s westernmost four provinces; here’s the full itinerary.
Nov 10 – Edmonton AB at Artery
Nov 11 – Sylvan Lake AB at Waves Coffee House
Nov 12 – Lethbridge AB at Owl Acoustic Lounge
Nov 17 – Invermere BC at Bud’s Bar & Lounge
Nov 18 – Courtenay BC at Joe’s Garage
Nov 21 – Duncan BC at Duncan Garage Showroom
Nov 22 – Penticton BC at Voodoo’s
Nov 23 – Kaslo BC at Kaslo Hotel
Nov 24 – Golden BC at Rockwater Grill & Bar
Nov 25 – Salmon Arm BC at Sturgis North Pub
Nov 26 – Calgary AB at The Palomino
Dec 02 – Saskatoon SK at Caffe Sola
Dec 03 – Moose Jaw SK at Bugsy’s Irish Pub
Dec 05 – Winnipeg MB at Shannon’s Irish Pub
Dec 06 – Brandon MB at Double Decker’s
Dec 07 – Rosebud AB at Thorny Rose Cafe
Dec 08 – Edmonton AB at Accent European Lounge (solo)
- Michael Senchuk
No more Plain Jane's, "A Lot Less Gold" for Alex Vissia
by Brandi Morin
Original songs with a few newly arranged covers.