Music, Official Fame Magazine, Pop Culture

Alex Wellkers’ “Fly Away” 

Alex Wellkers’ Fly Away features eleven invigorating songs that cut across multiple styles. The Swiss singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist has built to this moment with EP-length prior releases that hinted at his ambition. However, Fly Away represents the full flowering of Wellkers’ talents rather than a condensed expression of his skills. He sustains the listener’s interest throughout the nearly dozen songs with dramatic arrangements and unquestionable musical skill. He establishes himself as an effective singer able to convey the demanding range of emotions evident throughout each performance. It is a satisfying and always interesting release.

The opening number, “You Want Us”, is an outlier without sounding out of place. It’s the shortest track on the release, less than two minutes long, but well worth your attention. The biggest attractions are the tasteful acoustic guitar playing and heartfelt vocals. “We Celebrate” is the first full song. We see the true face of Fly Away with this cut as Wellkers introduces listeners to his bold mingling of seemingly disparate instrumentation and his electric guitar talents. His compositional gifts are evident as well.

The first dazzling moment on Fly Away arrives with “Grab the Stars”. His taste for utilizing unusual musical textures continues from the opening. Bringing violin and electric guitar together grabs our attention from the start. It ushers them into one of the most physically engaging tracks on Fly Away. The guitar work is potent. The expansive and deeply felt unfolding of “Niemals jemals da gewesen”, “Never Been There” in English, makes for one of the flagship moments. Enjoying this well-layered ballad that draws out one of his best vocals is easy.

Violin has a recurring presence throughout “We Try Our Best”. However, the primary mover for this track is crushing guitar riffage. Wellkers achievers an all-encompassing guitar sound from the first without it ever coming at the expense of obscuring his vocals. His talents as a producer deserve notice, and “We Try Our Best” illustrates how he leaves no stone unturned in fashioning memorable tracks. He continues in a similar vein with the next song. “What You Think Right Now” dispenses with the atypical instrumental touches for a more straight-ahead guitar-centered approach. It ranks as one of the heaviest tracks on the release.

It doesn’t mean that Wellkers lacks more softer moments. “Amy” revisits his love for balladry with a piano and violin-laced performance at an excellent place in the track listing. It sets up the album finale, “Do Not Fall” well. It’s Wellkers’ final stab at crafting an impressive guitar assault and doesn’t disappoint. It explores the same dynamic possibilities that highlight several of its predecessors and concludes Fly Away on a formidable note.

It’s a formidable collection. Listening to these eleven songs gives you the feeling that Alex Wellkers is putting his best artistic foot forward with this release. It will make an impact on the indie music world. Fly Away has a plethora of riches to offer even the most jaded listeners, and wears well even after multiple listens.

Troy Johnstone

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