Favourite New Local Album of 2019

1. Begonia - Fear

1.    Begonia - Fear
2.    Yes We Mystic - Ten Seated Figures
3.    Jamboree - Melt / Living Hour - Softer Faces / Taylor Janzen - Shouting Matches (tie)

Fear, Alexa Dirks’ (Begonia) first full-length album, had been in the works for around two years.

Dirks says although she’s been performing the material from the album for a while, “it doesn’t get tired ... it’s always new for me. Once you release an album into the world, it takes this shape you couldn’t possibly imagine.”

Dirks says the unique connections each listener has to the music “changes the way the songs sound, (because) I can access different emotions through them.”

Accessing these raw emotions night after night can take a toll, she says.

“It takes a lot out of me, being so emotional and vulnerable. After a show, I need 10 minutes alone to decompress.”

Dirks explains that she used to come right off stage after shows and wonder why she couldn’t be as engaged as she wanted to be with fans at the merch table, but that she is “learning different coping mechanisms.”

“I expend myself emotionally a lot when I’m on stage,” she says. “It’s something that I want to do, but I can’t underestimate what that takes from me, so in between songs I am pretty light ... I know the songs are heavy, and I want to show that there are two sides to me and to the music. You can be profoundly vulnerable and perhaps sad, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be strong and joyful at the same time.”

Of the album itself, Dirks says making it “was so fun.”

“When I came up with the artwork, I was just thinking about how GIANT my face would be – my giant face. It was pretty cool.”

Although she is “not raking in the millions,” she says that folks buying “merch definitely helps. When people come up and physically buy things, that money literally goes into the gas tank. Especially now that we have vinyl.”

Published in Volume 74, Number 12 of The Uniter (November 28, 2019)

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