We spoke to rising star Alessi’s Ark as she gears up for her performance at the Queen Elizabeth Hall this weekend. Her folky style sees her touted by many as the next Laura Marling, but Alessi’s music has a childlike innocence about it, with songs such as “Magic Weather” and “The Asteroids Collide” having a fairy tale like quality to them. Not only was she kind enough to chat to us, she’s also recorded an exclusive performance of “The Horse” in Holland Park which you can see below.
Hi Alessi’s Ark, what are you up to at the moment?
Hello there, I'm getting ready and learning lyrics for Pestival on Friday, it'll be an evening of insect themed songs at the Queen Elizabeth Hall.
How would you describe your sound?
Why did you choose to go under the name Alessi’s Ark?
I feel a lot of people are involved with the songs, even if they don't realise it - and Mum thought Ark worked well.
Whereabouts in London are you based?
I live in Hammersmith, West London with my family.
What are the best and worst things about it?
There's a very nice pool near us, a good new post office on North End Road and my sister and I liked going to Addison Primary school. Brook Green is very pretty too. I can't think of anything bad about Hammersmith, it's near the river and there are plenty of bus stops and tube stations. You should visit!
How does London inspire your song writing?
It's a good city for walking. Ideas for songs sometimes come when I’m on foot.
What's your favourite London venue and why?
I've got two, Union Chapel in Islington is beautiful. The acoustics are lovely and the atmosphere is always warm. The other is the Luminaire in Kilburn. The sound has always been very good when I’ve been and it's next to a lovely restaurant, Small & Beautiful - I recommend a visit before or after a show.
Is there an unusual London location that you would love to do a gig at?
I haven't really thought about it before but maybe closing off a bridge for a day and putting on a whole day of music would be fun. A bridge party.
Have you ever busked on the underground... how was it?
I haven't but i do like listening to the musicians...there's a great harpist that i've heard play at Green Park a few times called Peter Murphy and there's a guitarist who does a great cover of 'Hey Joe' at Piccadilly Circus. His name is Javier H. Ayensa.
Can you recommend any other London bands / artists that we should be checking out?
Treetop Flyers! They're based in and around Acton and Shepherds Bush and they're music is wonderful - rich with harmonies and a Crazy Horse-esque guitar sound. A friend of mine is a wonderful comic artist and photographer, her name is Anika and her blog is always full of amazing music recommendations of both local and overseas musicians. Another lovely is Lois Jeary - she's a great writer.
Where can we see you playing next?
After Pestival on Friday, I’ll be playing at In The Woods festival and then a few dates around the country with Emiliana Torrini. The next London show is September 27th at Bethnal Green Working Men's Club.
It'll be the second day of a weekend long festival of music and craft making - come along if you're free!
And finally, what's your London secret?
Hmm...I don't know if I have one...I live right by a glass ark?!
Alessi’s Ark’s debut album, “Notes From The Treehouse” is out now and you can catch her playing with Robyn Hitchcock at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on Friday 4th September (tickets here) and at the HungaMunga Festival at Bethnal Working Men's Club (tickets here) on 27th September.