Home Read Albums Of The Week: Begonia | Powder Blue

Albums Of The Week: Begonia | Powder Blue

With this soulful and seductive sophomore set, the Winnipeg singer stylishly smears the line between classic and cutting-edge — and blossoms into a world-class talent.


THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Begonia (Alexa Dirks) returns with Powder Blue, the followup to her 2019 debut album Fear, which was nominated for both the Polaris Music Prize and a Juno Award. On the album’s name, Dirks says, “Powder Blue is more of an emotion. It makes me think of my baby blanket, the colour of the virgin mary’s shawl at the church Christmas play, the airiness of clouds on a summer day, chlorine-filled water in a hotel pool, Elvis in the ’70s wearing an ill-fitting jumpsuit, the wallpaper in my room growing up, the collection of faded denim jackets in my basement.

“The name of this album needed to be something that encompasses all of the feelings that these songs give me when they are put together,” Dirks continues. “When I listen to them as a unit, they send me back to the words, the colour. To me, this album holds a muted nostalgia, musings on childhood, the complexities of new love, self love, religion, virginity, and sexuality. There’s an indulgence in emotional depth and pain yet also an indulgence in love and a poppy lightness — two sides I’ve always tried to balance. I feel like I let my guard down even more with this record and decided to not hold back on either end.”

As Begonia, the Winnipeg singer-songwriter is bold, brazen with her florid, surprising pop that is tempered with sensitivity and wisdom. In her music, she leans hard into a sense of arrival. Whether it’s learning to come into her own or processing a brutal heartbreak, Dirks’ intimate lyrics and audacious sound allow for her audience to relate to the messiness of life with an honesty that is refreshing.

As with Fear, Powder Blue was written and co-produced by Dirks and Royal Canoe’s Matt Schellenberg and Matt Peters, with an assist by Marcus Paquin (The National, Julia Jacklin, The Weather Station).”


Photo by Calvin Lee Joseph.
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