With the release of her first three singles — the achingly vulnerable “What Do You Think They’ll Say About Me,” the part torch song, part wistful and tender farewell “I’m Already Gone” and the slow-burning Quiet Storm-era R&B inspired pop song “Find Me Out,” the Canadian-born, Brooklyn-based electro pop artist and filmmaker Alexandra Stewart and her recording project ACES quickly became a mainstay artist on this site, as well as received attention across the blogosphere and elsewhere for a subtly modern and atmospheric take on cinematic, 80s synth pop.
Although Stewart’s highly-anticipated Ian Miller-produced Stranger EP dropped earlier this year, the EP’s first official single “If I Could Be Your Girl” was released towards the end of last year, and as Stewart explained at the time in press notes, the single “is the true ACES getaway track, but today, I’m not sure where we’re heading. ‘I Could Be Your Girl’ is about being honest with yourself and realizing when you deserve more. I hope it can be a voice for all of us doing some self-reflection right now . . . the future is female!” Unsurprisingly, the single will further cement Stewart’s reputation for her tender and breathy cooing being paired with an sparse, atmospheric yet cinematic production featuring gently trembling synths, hi-hat flashes, thumping beats and gently swirling electronics. And while the song is slow-burning, Quiet Storm-like ballad, it possesses an emotional urgency — after all, the song’s narrator has recognized that while she may have profound emotional attachment to her object of affection, that person isn’t good for her, and as a result, she’s making the painful decision of ending it for good; but underneath the steely reserve, there’s a palpable sense of trepidation, as though the song’s narrator is putting on a brave face to prevent anyone from seeing the uncertainty she actually feels.
The recently released video is a collaboration with director Chelsy Mitchell and the concept behind it comes from a mutual admiration for each other’s work. Using colored filters as a way to dramatize and to abstract the narrative, the video features Stewart shifting between light an dark at an artfully shot, French New Wave-inspired party/prom scene. At the party, the video’s protagonist meets eyes with a potential love interest, who slowly transforms her into a doppelganger of the silent Greek chorus-like women wearing pink, who watch from every angle. And as you can imagine, the new video will also further cement Stewart’s reputation for paring her work with highly symbolic and cinematically shot visuals.