JUNO AWARD WINNING VOCALIST BEGONIA, AKA ALEXA DIRKS, SET TO RELEASE LADY IN MIND ON FEBRUARY 10
CANADIAN TOUR DATES BEGIN FEBRUARY 6
"an audacious adventure in modern soul, with gospel inspirations and updated takes on finger-snapping Motown pop and late 20th-century R&B." - Globe & Mail
“the place where where synth-pop meets old soul and scrappy meets sexy” - NPR
“‘Juniper’ somehow manages to feed elements of Miseducation-era Lauren Hill through a Dirty Projectors' filter to produce a laid back soul-pop gem.” - Line Of Best Fit
“With her showstopping voice, Dirks blends acoustics and synths for her own
brand of gospel.” - CBC Music
PHOTO CREDIT : Adam Kelly // DOWNLOAD HIGH-RES
Next week, Begonia, aka Alexa Dirks, is taking to the road to support her new album, Lady In Mind. This week, listeners are treated to a stream of the entire album ahead of its release date, courtesy of CBC Music.
Due out February 10, the collection of songs that forms Begonia’s Lady In Mind lets the extremes of Dirks’ past and present coalesce into a sound that is both battle hymn and breakbeat body mover, incorporating themes which are confident in and of themselves, and yet sometimes caught in the middle. Dirks finds herself in a similar situation to the Begonia plant itself, in one instance - rough around the edges, and in another - petite and elegant. In between the plant attempts to harmonize its two poles, trying to find a balance. The result is Dirks’ timbre which recalls the golden age of soul, proud and courageous. And yet, it still returns to the ground, finding a quietness, a hesitant intimacy.
Even though Begonia, didn’t officially release a collection of music last year, 2016 was still a big year for the Winnipeg-based musician. Known for her voice in the JUNO Award winning, harmony-driven group Chic Gamine, Dirks was recently featured on CBC’s National Canada 150 New Year’s Eve broadcast, performing live with The Bros. Landreth. Also, NPR listed her as one of the Ten Canadian Artists You Need To Know, CBC Music called Begonia one of the Best New Bands of 2016, Line Of Best Fit included her in their 50 Best Deep Cuts of 2016 list, and “Juniper” reached #1 on CBC Radio 2’s Top 20.
Joined in studio by producers Matt Schellenberg (Royal Canoe) and Matt Peters (Royal Canoe, Close Talker) to record Lady In Mind, the title track is guided along by 90s synth waves over top of a warm rhythm section, questioning what it means to be woman. Raised on a healthy dose of religion, the rhapsodic church organs and gospel clap alongs of Dirks’ formative years are blended with staccatic, static beats on “Juniper”. “Out Of My Head” returns to a celestial swell to support a blue-collar rebel yell. A song of love and loss, the indecisive ballad “Hot Dog Stand” questions whether or not it’s fine to be alone.
Having spent much of the last ten years on tour, the tracks on Lady In Mind were penned on the road or during brief stops at home in Winnipeg. The layering of acoustic instruments with modern synths, and the duality found in both her songwriting and the name Begonia are very much informed by the way in which Dirks finds herself in everyday life - a young, bold woman who, sometimes to her own chagrin, prefers a grandmother’s aesthetic of fake flowers and doilies. Compounded by Dirks’ musical upbringing of 90s R&B, 70s folk, and Fiona Apple each taking up equal space in her discman, this leaves her trying to bridge the gap between old and new, between fire and ice. Entangled in the middle of it all, we find Begonia, the place and sound where Dirks is most comfortable, and yet still questioning how it is she ended up there.
Feb 6 - London, ON - London Music Hall
Feb 7 - Peterborough, ON - Red Dog
Feb 8 - Montreal, QC - La Vitrola
Feb 9 - Toronto, ON - The Drake
Feb 10 - Hamilton, ON - Mills Hardware
Feb 11 - Stittsville, ON - (SOLD OUT)
Feb 12 - Guelph, ON - Hillside Inside
Mar 3 - Winnipeg, MB - West End Cultural Centre (SOLD OUT)