Alexia Avina is an artist, musician, and organizer who’s a fixture of Montreal’s local DIY community. She makes up half of the duo Best Fern, but she’s been quietly releasing her own material over the past couple of years. Today, Avina debuted a brand new album of tender songs that ground themselves in a dreamscape of her own design.
Betting On An Island is built on small, intimate moments shared between the album’s narrator and various people or places. On stand-out track “Song 36,” Avina sings to someone who she associates with maternal comforts. “Would you comb my hair and slowly blow it dry,” she sings over a looped bit of organic instrumentation. “It’s a walk to go between our houses but I don’t mind.” Other songs on the album read as little bits of self-affirming philosophy; like on “Bird,” when Avina assuages listeners not to succumb to hurtful criticism or gossip too easily. And then there’s the album’s closer “Don’t U Give,” which reads as an indictment of those who place an undue burden on others. “I’m not all the things/ I want to be/ But now I’m not the only/ The only one of us who can’t relax.”
While Avina’s lyricism confronts familiar themes, her instrumentation is harder to place. It’s sometimes acoustic, sometimes electronic, often layered and always exceedingly lush. Betting On An Island is a cohesive soundscape that beckons listeners closer, and once you’ve listened to it a couple of times you’ll feel as if you’re sharing a secret. Stream the album in its entirety below.
Betting On An Island is out now via Never Content.