Ontario’s Alysha Brilla has had many achievements in these past ten years. She was busy touring around North America, was signed to Lava Records/Universal Republic (but left the label just as quickly), and started her own label called Sunny Jam. Now with this new independence giving her full control, she’s released her first full length album called In My Head.
I initially threw this album on during my usual morning routine, when my wife entered the room asking me if it was Amy Winehouse or Colbie Caillat. They were good comparisons, but I’d add some Bonnie Raitt, Etta James, and Joni Mitchell to that mix, creating the foundation for Alysha’s sound. She is definitely not riding any coattails here; she has enough originality and talent for her own musical identity.
This album is filled with eleven strong tracks. They all have a folky-soul vibe backed with some awesome horns and strong rhythm including conga and djembe drums. It’s hard to pick a favorite track, but the third number Sailor's Wife is as good as any. Check it out:
Alysha is a talented singer/songwriter, she handled all of the song writing, produced the album, and also actually played her own instruments rather than taking the easy route of hiring studio musicians which seems to be a growing trend (she handles all of the guitar and piano, and extremely well). In the liner notes, Alysha states that this collection of songs is based on the past five years of her life: “Through falling in love, having my heart broken, being existentially conflicted and all along maintaining this inner light which I spend many hours fanning to keep alive”. While the heartache is never fun, she sure turned her troubles into something positive.
This album was a real breath of fresh air and hopefully just the beginning of what we can expect from Alysha and Sunny Jam. In My Head is a very impressive collection of beautiful songs and an incredible first effort of self-producing and releasing an album. I highly recommend it.