Solid vocal harmonies put the sugar in Sweet Alibi’s natural lilt, but it’s their open-minded approach to music that just might put this band on top.
The Winnipeg-based girl group has just released its first CD and its members hope it won’t be long until they’re playing music full-time, touring the world to play festivals and concerts from the United State to Europe—and they’ve roped some pretty big support thus far.
Their first CD, self-titled, is produced by Juno award winner and former Crash Test Dummies member Mitch Dorge, who was playing with band member Michelle Anderson’s boyfriend when he was introduced to their sound.
“We met him at a house concert for somebody’s birthday,” said Jessica Rae Ayre, who assembled Sweet Alibi out of a collection of friends. “We got to talking about recording and within a few months started working with him.”
It didn’t take much to iron out the kinks in their harmonies. With four ears on the task, it was easy to hear what worked, what didn’t and how exactly to polish the trio’s unique style.
Rae Ayre comes from more of a blues/soul background, listening to the likes of Etta James, Coco Taylor and Adele, whom fans have been telling her fits her sound perfectly.
Amber Nielsen claims more of a country background with Dolly Parton and Gillian Welch belting from her stereo, whereas Anderson has some classical training and jazz, from university, and typically has singer/songwriters like Hawksley Workman on the brain.
All this is to say the group is somewhat typically atypical at this stage of their career.
Still in what one might call the formative years, the CD showcases a lot of talent and an open-ended direction that should make their Okanagan concert interesting.
And while they do have fairly normal topics—relationships and the like—tunes like Phoebe’s Song demonstrate a creative capacity that’s inclusively sweet, sad and humorous.
The song is about Nielsen’s bird, Pheobe, and is best described as a bittersweet lullaby.
“How lucky am I to have lived in a world with something so sweet?” the girls croon.
Sadly it appears a window has been left open as the story unfolds.
Sweet Alibi plays
Kelowna’s Minstrel Café on May 2 at 8 p.m.