Nov 01, 2022
By Caleb Campbell
Though Alice Sandahl is likely best known for her time playing keys in Seattle indie rock outfit La Luz, she first got her start in the world of jazz. This year, Sandahl returned to those roots in powerful fashion with the release of her solo debut album, Bright and Blue.
Carving a style that is equal parts lush singer/songwriter fare and smoky jazz exploration, Bright and Blue turns to the standards for inspiration, yet also it feels thoroughly intimate and personal for Sandahl herself. As she describes, the record was born out of isolated stints in Seattle as she sifted through a series of devastating personal losses.
The full record is out now, and following the release, she is back with an accompanying video for one of the highlights, “Ways of War,” premiering with Under the Radar.
Like much of the record, “Ways of War” is a subtle and evocative effort, winding through a haze of Wurlitzer, psychedelic guitars, and syncopated rhythms. Aside from a rollicking organ-led instrumental diversion, Sandahl plays the track incredibly cool, letting the quiet allure of the seductive rhythms and ringing melodies draw the listener in. Similarly, Sandahl’s vocals offer a beguiling centerpiece, surrounding you in a decadent offering of jazzy beauty.
Meanwhile, the accompanying video brings out the shadow and mystery of the track, with the wild carnivalesque Wurlitzer passage soundtracking Sandahl tearing an unknown gem from her body. Sandahl says of the track and video, “‘Ways of War’ is about the internal conflict we grapple with when we find it hard to walk away from a situation or relationship that is hurting us. The hero’s quest to remove whatever is inside them and overcome their demons.”
Check out the video below, directed by Hamilton Boyce. Bright and Blue is out everywhere now.