Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site for a while, you may recall that with the release of four singles over the course of 2015 and 2016 — 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,” the slow-burning Quiet Storm-era R&B inspired pop song “Find Me Out,” and the swooning “I Could Be Your Girl,” ACES, the recording project of Canadian-born, Brooklyn-based pop artist Alexandra Stewart, featuring contributions from Canadian-born, Brooklyn-based guitarist Russ Flynn received quite a bit of attention across the blogosphere, including this site, for an atmospheric and subtly modern take on 80s synth pop.
This year began with Stewart releasing “Just Cut It Out,” a single that appeared on the DRUG BLVD compilation, the first release from Istanbul, Turkey-based dream pop label Drug Boulevard, founded by Kubily Yigit, who has also founded renowned Turkish progressive/trance electronica label Blue Soho Records. And interestingly enough, I think that “Just Cut It Out” will cement Stewart’s growing international profile for crafting slow-burning and atmospheric pop that feature her breathy and achingly tender vocals while focusing on a narrator who’s heartbroken over a relationship that’s ended and yet doesn’t want to give it up. Stewart’s latest single, the slow-burning and aching “Baby, I Don’t Mean To Ignore” continues in a similar vein — sparse and atmospheric arrangements with swirling electronics paired with Stewart’s breathily tender vocals. And much like her preceding singles, “Baby, I Don’t Mean To Ignore,” the first official single from her soon-to-be released debut EP Stranger manages to convey a complex array of emotions — in this case a push and pull between longing and devotion, wanting to be left alone, of being hopelessly stuck in one’s own head and not quite knowing how to express themselves in a way that makes sense.
The recently released and extraordinarily noir-ish and cinematic video was created by Alex Stewart and her video team of Alex Munro and her husband Oresti Tsonopoulous. Based primarily around footage Tsonopolous and Stewart shot while on a date. As Stewart explains in press notes, the footage wasn’t even intended to be used for a music video but once she started to go through it, the concept of the video immediately came to mind. “I love the motion in driving and walking scenes and that’s where I tend to do my best thinking. The song was an idea I had about a person in their most vulnerable moment. Some time before they’re in a relationship or be before they’ve even decided what they’re going to do about their feelings. They’re really mulling things over. The video took shape from those images, and I think you get the sense that this is a girl on a mission. She’s ready to make her move.”