The pandemic has been a time of reflection and tumult for many, but for Canadian pop artist Alexis Lynn, it provided a deep dive into her psyche and some long-simmering struggles, culminating in her aptly titled album Real Talk – check it out on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/_YClr5Z1uZs
A collection of pop bangers and soulful confessions – including her single “Fall Apart,” which holds steady at No. 5 on the Indigenous Music Countdown – Real Talk is Alexis Lynn’s most authentic, raw work to date.
“When I started writing the album, I honestly didn’t really know where it was going, but it kind of wrote itself,” she recalls. “It turned into this beautiful story of struggling with mental health, adopting unhealthy coping mechanisms, and then finally coming out on the other side. It terrifies me to have been so honest, but I’m also really proud of it.”
Listen on Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/album/4GWRR7q1D2mzpZZ4WUbkJn?si=359268537d3b47c0&nd=1
The track list reflects the trajectory of her journey, with the titular “Real Talk” acting as the album’s thesis. “Bandaids” then addresses the suppression of trauma, while “Fall Apart” is the coming undone after a herculean effort to hold it together for so long. “House On Fire” and “Ana” touch upon specific maladaptive coping mechanisms – codependency and disordered eating – that a person can adopt while struggling with mental health. An interlude, “Good Enough” addresses the shame and feelings of not measuring up at the heart of eating disorders. The following song, “Honest,” embraces the start of healing, and captures the strange but necessary duality of happiness and struggle in the healing process. And, finally, “Make U Happy” is the take-home message that a person can only find happiness and healing within themselves, and that no one else can do the work for them.
“Fall Apart,” Real Talk’s chart topper for months now, serves as the album’s centerpiece, capturing that point where you just can’t lie to yourself anymore. “I wrote ‘Fall Apart’ when I was so burnt out but didn’t want to admit it,” Alexis confides. “I was trying to be there for people in my life who were struggling, while also struggling myself, and I started to think like, ‘When’s it my turn to just lose it?’ My glass was filled too full and started to overflow.”
Selfish but I need a turn
Lose myself and crash and burn
‘Cause I’m always everyone’s rock
But where do I go when I’m lost
Creating this album has been a catharsis for Alexis, contributing to a healing and unburdening that’s been a long time in the making. “The pandemic really gave me the time and space to be able to work on myself, reflect and be the most vulnerable in my art,” she says.
A captivating performer with a honeyed vocal tone and an edge underneath it, Alexis crafts deceptively sweet pop anthems that never shy away from her ethos of honesty and empowerment. Inspired by the worlds of hip-hop and R&B, her music radiates confidence and examines our insecurities in equal measure. The First Nations singer’s fans know that ultra-catchy hooks and radio-ready production are a given; the stories she’s telling with them, though, just might surprise you.