#musicmonday: Alana Stewart – Perfervid

I’m frowning as I read the list of acts. I’m even beginning to sulk. I didn’t even know about The Great Escape, held in my native Brighton last weekend, and definitely didn’t know about what a sweet lineup it had. OK, so after ten years out of the proverbial loop I was only familiar with a handful of acts on that bill of 300, but bloody hell! That’s about half of the bands I’m listening to lately!

Given my disappointment with a similar experiment with the rather woeful Reading lineup last year, I’m now picking my way through that list of acts, aided and abetted by YouTube. The first band to make me go “oooh” will be today’s #musicmonday, and any other gems I find I’ll pop aside for a later date.

Thus we get to Alana Stewart, whose name I think I recognise until I realise she shares it with a better-known actress. This lass is from the US – New York, I think (aren’t they always?), but moved to South Africa to be with her Swedish boyfriend (her blog explains it’s to do with immigration rules).

What you do need to know about Alana is that she has a great voice. It’s the sort of mellow, soft-toffee voice of someone like Katie Melua without that cloying hint or those maddening “buy this for your ageing mum” TV adverts. This song – I didn’t really listen to the others yet – uses notes sparingly. Just a hint of a note here, a lazily strummed chord there. It’s softly passionate like old blues. In spite of its sparseness, Perfervid remains interesting throughout: unhurried, quietly confident, and that little bit unexpected.

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Alana Stewart on MySpace

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