Today’s Song: Alia Gets Up Close and Personal with “Brain”

Alia © Ilana Morgan
RIYL: Marian Hill, Kiiara, Alina Baraz, Sabrina Claudio, AlunaGeorge

Los Angeles-based chanteuse ALIA has long been an artist-to-watch at Atwood Magazine, with her left-of-center creative approach sculpting her into a champion of the new era of pop music. Her latest single, “Brain,” is a fearless follow-up to her 2016 debut single “Penthouse” (currently unavailable) and her latest release, “Gin & Honey.”

Watch: “Brain” – ALIA

Produced by Cody Tarpley, “Brain” signifies a step into the more electronic R&B realm for Alia Christian, with dark vocal glitches reminiscent of Marian Hill’s “Down” and Kiiara’s “Gold.” The repetition of the title in the chorus over an exhilaratingly bubbly melody bewitches the ear; it’s a tune you just can’t seem to — or, want to — get out of your head.

Brain - ALIA

Brain – ALIA

What is most compelling, however, is the way ALIA pens a story that is rarely told in today’s hookup culture. Challenging societal norms, she sings:

Baby, you can leave your clothes on
I’m just tryna strip your mind
Boy, I wanna get your brain off
Tryna get underneath those eyes

Though sensual and playful, the lyrics suggest more of a cerebral strip-down, as ALIA tries to undress the layers of the mind rather than the body.  Innocently guilty, she places great importance on intellectual appeal, though she asks questions that flirt with physical possibility.

Tell me everything you know
What you’ve done, what you want to
Tell me how to take you home
‘Cause that’s something we could do

She teases with metaphor. Cautious yet curious, she finds a satisfaction in penetrating the fortress of the psyche and immersing herself in the innermost thought processes of a potential love interest.

Alia © Ilana Morgan Spiegel

Alia © Ilana Morgan Spiegel

The recently-released accompanying music video, produced and directed by USC Film students Hampus Wahlin and Ilana Morgan Spiegel, provides an alluring visual that accents ALIA’s own feminine energy. Interspersed between shots of a gracefully tumbling lyrical dancer, ALIA’s piercing eyes remain locked in contact with the lens of the camera. In this way, she shares a psychological intimacy with the viewer that subtly underscores the composition in a palpable manner.

Revel in Guilty Pleasure with ALIA’s “Gin & Honey”

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Releasing a very slow, but consistently impressive set of songs over the past two years, ALIA could very well be pop music’s most promising new talent. Stay tuned and see what else she has in store.

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Brain - ALIA

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photo © Ilana Morgan Spiegel 

:: Stream ALIA ::

ALIA Blazes Her Own Trail with “Penthouse”

:: today's song ::

Revel in Guilty Pleasure with ALIA’s “Gin & Honey”

:: today's song ::

I am a recent graduate of Loyola University New Orleans, where I studied business with a focus on the music industry. Writing for Atwood Magazine has allowed me to highlight the music that is most relevant to my current life situations and to recognize outstanding talent. My musical tastes range anywhere from R&B/pop crossover artists to more soulful throwback sounds, though I choose to write about artists with standout stories, lyrics, and melodies that transcend genre. Favorite artists include Sabrina Claudio, The Internet, Jorja Smith, Kali Uchis, Zak Abel, Tom Misch, and Louis The Child. I am living in Los Angeles, focusing my time on a career in artist management.