ALONA is a Pittsburgh lo-fi R&B artist whose first album, R.E.D., dropped in late January.
R.E.D.‘s six tracks sound like they were recorded on an old Motorola RAZR phone that had been left in a puddle for a few hours. Grainy washes of melody bleed into faded percussion and disintegrated samples while ALONA murmurs and speak-sings overtop, her words mostly obscured by the rough sound quality. “DANCE SLOW” is ALONA’s take on the trope of the sultry bedroom jam; think Jeremih’s “All The Time” deconstructed into its component parts (tantalizing vocal samples, finger snaps, molasses chord progressions), converted to daguerreotype form, and then left to rust for 10 years. The result is a spectral entity that sounds more like a death rattle than it does an orgasm. Some lyrics are intelligible, like when ALONA mourns, “I like the way my hair rests on my chest […] You never seem to notice.” Her muddled traces of thoughts and images serve to heighten the sense of disorientation induced by the song’s instrumental. “DANCE SLOW” should appeal to all those people looking for a How To Dress Well/Aaliyah crossover.
Check out the rest of R.E.D. and follow ALONA on her socials if you can find them (I couldn’t)