Alice Kristiansen, whose cover of Taylor Swift's "Wildest Dreams" went viral on A Plus, is back with a follow-up to her first single, "Moon and Back."
"Twilight Blue" has a much heavier production — especially with the chorus, which is beautifully hooky — than anything Kristiansen has done before. It's a beautiful song, made instantly memorable by the ache in Kristiansen's voice.
It's a song that sounds like longing.
Released yesterday, the single represents a richer, lusher sound for Kristiansen, coupled with a video style that hearkens back to her YouTube videos where she's sitting in her room with her guitar. We asked her why she decided to return to a minimalist look for "Twilight Blue."
"The song's lyric is vulnerable and I wanted to convey that in the video," she told A Plus in an interview. "'Twilight Blue' is very much a direct message to someone you love — I didn't want production to get in the way of that. I love cinematic videos and I definitely think that there's a time and a place for that, but I wanted to keep it simple for this one."
As with "Moon and Back" as well as the songs she covers, "Twilight Blue" combines lyrical optimism with a beautiful, melancholy mood. For Kristiansen, much of that aesthetic tension comes from her own sensitivity.
"I've always felt very affected by the emotions of others, and their experiences," she said when asked about what inspires her, "sometimes to a point where I kind of have trouble differentiating my emotions from what's going on around me. It might not be healthy trait in general, but it does help when it comes to songwriting and the creative process. I like to draw on that when I'm sitting down and working on new music. I find it inspiring that in the face of everything that's going on in the world today, so many people still find it worthwhile to sit down with a guitar, notebook, paint and canvas, or camera, and just create. It seems that in times of turmoil the act of creating becomes more important — not less. I'm one to follow the news closely and it can get a bit difficult to find the good in the world, but just the thought that we create despite the chaos ... makes me feel a bit better."
As with any artist making the transition from covers to original songs, Kristiansen finds herself more and more vulnerable as she puts herself out there as a songwriter. In her case, however, she already has a solid fan base that supports her.
"It's crazy to see (social media) accounts dedicated to what I'm doing with my career," she said of her fans. "Their support of my new, original music means the world to me because it's more personal than the covers I've been doing. It definitely feels more vulnerable to put out originals as opposed to covers, but the feedback is so special to me. It's also been so cool to get to know the people behind the accounts — I actually follow @alicekfans and Natalie (the account owner) is such a sweetheart. I feel so lucky to have fans like her!"
As for her plans for the future, it looks like Kristiansen is using the momentum she's gathered to keep doing what she's done so well so far.
"Just writing, writing, recording, and more writing and recording! I feel like you have to create so many songs before you come to a sound that really resonates with you ... it's a really long process. I started working on original music last year and I still don't feel like I'm quite there yet, but I feel like I'm heading in the right direction."