Alicia Penney

Alicia Penney


Framed by able guitar playing and a voice both honest and enchanting, Alicia Penney’s sparse compositions reveal a songwriter mature beyond her twenty two years. Her straightforward lyrics explore themes of troubled relationships, self doubt, longing and friendships.


When not working on a degree in Philosophy or fronting the burgeoning Sydney, Nova Scotia based rock band Yellow, Alicia Penney found the time this past Spring to record the eight song demo Right Out Of ‘Er, featuring material too subtle and personal for Yellow’s full rock band dynamic. Framed only by Penney’s able acoustic guitar playing and voice which is too honest to be considered ethereal but is as enchanting as those of the finest female performers, the album’s sparse arrangements reveal a songwriter mature beyond her years. Beginning guitar at age fifteen and now only twenty two, Alicia possesses a talent that could enable her to emerge over the next decade as one of Canada’s finest songwriters. Her lyrics explore themes of troubled relationships, self doubt, confusion, longing and the nature of friendships, finding power in their straightforwardness - intelligent without straining to be intellectual. Alicia excels not only at relating her protagonists’ aches to the listener but also in allowing the listener to experience the state of the song’s subject. How Can I Sing? relates the story of a jilted lover seeing the object of her affection with another woman, while Over and Over reminisces about an old flame. Stand Still for Days uses more aggressive strumming to create a greater sense of urgency; Pretty Song’s minor key chorus crawls up the spine before rolling down the cheeks. Right Out of Er’s greatest strength is found in its balance of sing along choruses to grab the ears of the pop fan and keep those of the admirer of refined song craft.


how can i sing

Written By: alicia penney

how can i sing

it's gotten to the point where i can't even pretend that i'm worth it anymore
foolish yet aware, i'm still lying to myself: i've been down this road before

but how can i think now that i've seen how beautiful she is
how can i laugh now that i've seen her smile
how can i sing now that i've seen you try to impress her
i don't feel much like singing now that i've seen

i've got an understanding, i know just where i stand and it's where i always will
but still for some reason i'm fighting back a feeling impossible to kill

but why must you look at me with those eyes?
why must you sit so close to me?
are you trying to make a joke of me?
can't you see? it's not a game to me.

and why, why must i catch you looking up at me with those eyes?
why, why do you have to sit so close to me?
do you try? how could you not know that you're making a joke of me?
can't you see it's not a game to me?
why do you have to play with me?
it's not a game to me

the skank parade blues

Written By: alicia penney

the skank parade blues
i carved your initials
(like in jr. high)
into the wall of a bathroom stall
in a skanky bar

i crave your attention
i crave your company
i can't get enough of either
to satisfy me

the pretty girls are dancing
while the boys look on
it's alright for some
but not everyone has got their dancing shoes on

it doesn't really matter
nothing even happened
my heart isn't broken
i just had too much to drink last night

what do i think, and what do i know?
this place a traveller makes,
but that's not why i go

friend, i see you struggling
but put your mind at ease
that kind of song is wasted on fools like these

and even though i know it's tragic
i can't help but laugh
'cuz sometimes i think i'd give anything
to be like that


alicia penney - right out of 'er:
released feb 2005
listen at

Set List

how can i sing?
over and over
one song
stand still for days
i let myself down again
the skank parade blues
sinking ships
on my mind
leave you be
so what do you think?
i quit my job (cover by old man luedecke)