Alli Bean is a singer-songwriter based in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. She cites influences from Wynton Kelly, Horace Silver, Fiona Apple and Amy Winehouse. Known for her eclectic Jazz/Pop/Blues style, she comes bearing gifts of joy. Her first album, Outside Voice, features seven songs with a total run time of 23 minutes and 16 seconds. The album features two singles that she had put out earlier and five completely new tracks that are absolutely phenomenal. Alli Bean showcases a wide range with her instrumentals as well as vocal work.
The album begins with her first-ever single, Twenty Questions. This track is absolutely groovy and starts off with the most bluesy piano intro ever. Moreover, Alli Bean mixes in guitars and drums to smoothen the sound out while her vocals add warm textures. Her voice is so powerful and exudes confidence. Moving on to When the News Breaks, we have our first new track. Alli continues this extremely powerful vibe with her deep piano tones and light, playful drums. The bassline is sublime, keeping the song flowing as smooth as ever. I can’t leave her vocals out of this either with how easy she makes everything sound.
Two Birds, the second track Alli Bean released as a single, features funkier tones. This track is extremely bass-heavy, while the synth-organ plays more of a backing role. However, there are more textures that create contrast in the song while Alli just effortlessly flaunts her angelic voice. This track is probably the kind of track you’d play when you feel like you’re unstoppable. There’s something about how Alli’s confidence seeps into you, the more you listen to her music. Contrastingly, Grief & Gratitude shows us a darker, edgier, more emotional side of Alli Bean. The entire track is an instrumental that, still, has so much confidence.
Peacock Blue picks the pace up and kicks it into high gear. It’s the kind of track that you could really groove to, not just because it’s uptempo, but because of the general vibe. I can, totally, envision someone dancing alone at home while playing Peacock Blue in the background while cooking. The distorted electric guitar caught me by surprise the first time I heard it, but I was instantly hooked. Alli Bean shows such versatility that you’ll simply fall in love with her for her music alone. Everything from the playful instrumentation to the ambient harmonies and the catchy melody line will have you gaga over her.
Another Way slows things down again, back to Alli’s original tempo. The track seems to take on a much funkier tone that will have you grooving back to normal again. Alli Bean has a grasp on the genre that only comes with a ton of experience. I find her music so refreshing and it’s certainly a palette-cleanser that anyone could use. Similarly, Not My Problem ends the album on the most perfect note. It’s playful, authentic, open and honest. I love how Alli throws in the occasional instrumental track that you can lose yourself to.
I don’t think I can sell this album anymore without doing injustice to how brilliant it’s been. The entire journey from start to finish has been delightful, to say the least. However, that’s not where we end with Alli Bean seeing as we’ve scored an interview with the phenom herself. Read on below for more.
How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t heard it before? It’s jazz with a dash of rock & a ton of attitude.
What is your favourite part about creating music? The collaboration with others once I’ve developed the music enough to be shared. It was very cool to take this album that I recorded mostly unilaterally & have four other people add their own spices to it when we were able to get back together to rehearse.
How long does it normally take you to create a song? What is the process like for you? If it’s a vocal tune, I usually get lyrics, groove & melody all at once for one little part & then I have to dig for the rest on the piano. After that, I just play it a lot until I know how it goes & then I bring it to whoever is collaborating on it & we go from there.
What are some of the setbacks you’ve faced in your music career so far?The pandemic is the biggest thing, obviously, but that aside, the music industry itself is hard to navigate. The competition is stiff & there are so many people to talk to! I’m so thankful to be learning as I go.
Have you ever had writer’s block? How did you overcome it?I’ve always got something to say; the hardest part was figuring out how to say it. I ended up talking to a solid ally for a while before anything really came out, but once it started, it spilled. Sometimes we need to process the things we want to write about before we can lay down a cogent thought.
What advice would you give to people who want to create music for a living?Just start doing it & don’t stop. There’s nowhere to go but up if you are eager to learn, open to making mistakes, & willing to let go.
What’s next for Alli Bean?Album number two, of course, after a period of rest.