DEBUT LP FEAR, DUE OUT THIS FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 13 VIA REX BABY RECORDS / THE ORCHARD
TOUR DATES BEGIN SEPTEMBER 26
Photo Credit : Leeor Wild // DOWNLOAD HIGH-RES
On Friday, Begonia (Alexa Dirks) releases her long awaited debut album, Fear via Rex Baby Records (The Orchard). But today, she shares the CBC First Play Live of the album and the trailer for the LP featuring of an all-star cast of Winnipeg artists which plays out more like an epic short film on roller skates than it does a ‘trailer’.
The CBC First Play Live was “the first time my band and I were playing half of the songs on this record live, as well as the first time I EVER played this record live front to back,” says Dirks. “I was far more nervous for this than I thought I would be. I felt like I wanted everything to be so ‘perfect’ that I was a bit of an emotional wreck on the day of filming to be honest. I truly feel honoured that we were given the opportunity to interpret my record in front of such an encouraging and intimate audience. It feels really special to me that now this performance is locked in a kind of time capsule while everything is still so new. Will be trippy to look back on, I'm sure.”
The trailer for Fear is an unprecedented creative endeavour. For the video Begonia created a medley of all twelve tracks from the album and Winnipeg filmmaker Gwen Trutnau, in collaboration with Synonym Art Consultation, invited drag performers, dancers, and artists to visually interpret the tracks. The result is glamorous, campy, colourful, and spectacular.
“All throughout the shoot, I kept pinching myself and thinking ‘HOW did this get to be my life?!’,” says Dirks. “The set was full of such amazing energy from all the people that were involved. Together, we made some art that I'm really proud of. It represents the journey of the album so well. Colourful, full of emotion, and all wrapped up in a weird and wonderful little package.”
MORE ABOUT FEAR
As Begonia, Alexa Dirks is bold, brazen with her florid, surprising pop that is tempered with sensitivity and wisdom. On the LP, Begonia leans hard into a sense of arrival. She wrote and co-produced the record with a familiar team of Matt Schellenberg (Royal Canoe) and Matt Peters (Royal Canoe) along with Marcus Paquin (The National, Arcade Fire, Local Natives).
Album cut, “Hanging On A Line”, a song about “seriously falling in love in the club,” says Dirks, is currently sitting at #1 on CBC Music’s Top 20, while “Living At The Ceiling” will see its TV debut in tonight’s episode of Queen Sugar, produced by Oprah Winfrey on OWN.
Whether it’s learning to come into her own or processing a brutal heartbreak, Dirks’ intimate lyrics and audacious sound allows for her audience to relate to the messiness of life with an honesty that is refreshing.
Dirks' first solo EP, Lady in Mind, was well-received, being listed on NPR’s 10 Artists You Need To Know in 2017 and single “Juniper” reached #1 on the CBC Radio 2 Top 20. Noisey wrote that, “Begonia has one of Canada’s most extraordinary voices, and thankfully she uses it to obliterate the misery from this world one live performance at a time.” NPR wrote that Begonia is “the place where where synth-pop meets old soul and scrappy meets sexy."
Sep 14 - Hamilton ON - Supercrawl
Sep 20 - Hamburg Germany - Reeperbahn Festival
Sep 26 - Montreal QC - Pop Montreal
Oct 31 - Oshawa ON - Oshawa Music Hall
Nov 01 - Kingston ON - The Grad Club
Nov 02 - Peterborough ON - The Red Dog
Nov 07 - London ON - Call The Office
Nov 08 - Windsor ON - Meteor
Nov 09 - Guelph ON - University of Guelph @ The Bullring
Nov 11 - Washington DC - Vinyl Lounge @ Songbyrd
Nov 12 - New York NY - Trans Pecos
Nov 14 - Hamilton ON - Mills Hardware
Nov 15 - Toronto ON - Lee’s Palace
Nov 16 - St Catherine’s ON - Warehouse Concert Hall
Jan 30 - Penticton BC - Dream Cafe
Jan 31 - Burnaby BC - Shadbolt Centre
Feb 1 - Vancouver BC - Fox Theatre
Feb 27, 28 - Winnipeg MB - West End Cultural Centre
March 13 - 14 - New York NY - New Colossus Festival
MORE DATES TBA at hellobegonia.com
PRAISE FOR BEGONIA
“...searing and dignified” - NPR Music
"...a complex, powerhouse synth-soul that hangs on one of Canada’s most
extraordinary voices." - Line Of Best Fit
“The woman has, you would say, presence to spare. When she opens her mouth to sing it's like, ‘What just happened?’” - Exclaim!
"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
“With her showstopping voice, Dirks blends acoustics and synths for her own
brand of gospel.” - CBC Music