Alexa Dark, Spanish-American multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter, just released her debut EP Dark, Vol.1. It is a daring album which tells the origin story of Dark’s villainess character over seven alluring tracks about heartbreak, vengeance and identity.
Amassing a cult-following on TikTok since she started releasing music in 2021; Dark’s music and femme-fatale persona has struck a chord with people wanting to redefine their femininity, and ditch the societal expectations for women to be the savior, or damsel of a story.
In ‘Blind Faith’, a song about falling in love with someone and the empty promises that they give, we meet Dark’s character. It’s a mysterious and atmospheric song that’s reminiscent of another time; it is also our first introduction into Dark’s stripped-back production style, that gives every note and instrument a powerful sound.
‘Villain’ is the second song on the album. And marks the start of her descent into villainy after her love has ended in heartbreak. In the verses, she is questioning herself and her intentions, showing a sense of having lost control. Dark’s noir movie inspiration can be heard here, with its thrilling, ambient soundscape and mysterious piano throughout.
The next track, ‘Fantasy Girl’ explores the idea of dealing with someone’s perceived view of you and how it can destroy a relationship.
‘Fantasy Girl’ confronts a secret third person in a relationship, one my partner is more in love with than me – but this third person is me, a version of me, a fantasy that can never be real. They are in love with the idea of me, and she’s becoming larger than life, consuming me until I am nothing.Alexa Dark
The intensity of the next track, ‘Archetype’ begins right off the bat, with a short intro that leads into her sultry vocals. This song explores the concept of a self-fulfilling prophecy, as the character has given in to her dark side without much fight. The chorus of this song mesmerizes, with Dark’s angelic vocals leaving a lasting impact.
By the time we reach the fifth song of the album, ‘Lay Down My Arms’, Dark’s character seems to be reflecting on the heartbreak and trauma which led her to this point. This song, a melancholic track backed by a church-like organ, is the sort of thing the main character of an old Hollywood movie would hear at a lonely bar. The folk rock sound of this track sparks nostalgia on even the first listen.
The next song is ‘Cool For You’. Expanding on similar concepts that are introduced in fantasy girl, she sings about insecurity and not being able to live up to her lovers view of her. The production in this song is truly on another level, with the overlapping vocals of the dreamy bridge leading into a high-octane final chorus.
Dark, Vol.1’s final track is fit for an end credits scene – fitting for a song called ‘Fade to Black and Blue’. The chorus of the song is catchy and wistful, as Dark looks back on the thing she has done with a sentimental attitude. For the final verse of the song, the chorus is repeated with a stripped instrumental that makes for the perfect closer to a film-like album.
Summer leaves the frame/ I mourn my youth in vein/ afraid I’ll wake to find nothing left.Alexa Dark, Fade to Black and Blue