On her new album The Offering, singer-songwriter Xanthe Alexis eschews the acoustic sound of her critically acclaimed 2016 debut effort No Time For War for a dreamier, more atmospheric soundscape where the two dominant instruments on the album are a drum machine and her captivating and expressive voice. The glorious result is one of the most musically and spiritually enthralling efforts of the year thus far.
Over the course of the eight songs on the LP- the haunting and country-flavored titular track, the affecting and determined “Sullen One,” the sobering and clear-eyed “The Heart NeedsTime,” the impassioned and resolute “Compass,” the driving and hypnotic “Moon” the inspirational and uncompromising “Siren,” the jazz-tinged”Watch Him Fall” and the pulsating and resonant closer “Home,” Alexis navigates the fertile musical land between indie and folk and draws and seduces the listener into the charismatic sonic world she has created.
Alexis, who is a trauma therapist by day, through this collection of songs is delivering a message that says healing from our afflictions and pain is possible but that it requires compassion for yourself and others, honesty in facing your circumstances, a will, and determination to get well, and a realization of the power of spirituality in the healing process and in our lives in general. In short, she is saying that healing is not something that not just happens, but requires action on our part for it to commence and take hold.
Because of its aural sparseness and her background in folk music, The Offering is one of those records that will personally challenge some listeners, I suppose, about their definition of what “Americana” music is and what it should sound like. I often find such “purity” arguments boorish and condescending and ultimately harmful to any artist who is trying to honestly convey their truth through their music. I believe that conveying her truth as she sees it is exactly what Xanthe Alexis as a singer and songwriter is attempting here and further believe The Offering deserves a listen from anyone who wants to hear, first hand, what a poignant and deeply personal musical statement from a superior songwriter sounds like.
The Offering by Xanthe Alexis was produced by Conor Bourgal and is now available on her website .