Based in Las Vegas, the compelling singer/songwriter and vocalist Alyssa Harris graces BuzzMusic with her refreshing EP 'Wild Dreamer.' With twelve years in the music industry under her belt, Alyssa Harris has won over fans by engaging in iconic Hollywood venues and performing her own headlined shows on various cruise lines. Alyssa Harris mentioned that her latest EP 'Wild Dreamer' is an ode to a fresh start. She touches on themes of growth and expansion, as she sings about closing chapters of her life only to begin new ones. With dynamic instrumentals from alt-pop, soft rock, and a hint of reggae, Alyssa Harris showcases vast talent through all six tracks.
Opening the EP with force through the intro track "Start Again," Alyssa Harris is accompanied by exhilarating jazz/rock instrumentals while adding her soulful flare. She begins vocalizing with power and stuns us with her effortless melisma and broad vocal range, singing lyrics of wanting to start again and leave her past behind. At a mid-tempo pace, the lively instrumentals feed us so much soul that perfectly amplifies Alyssa Harris' motivational and expansive message. With multiple percussion breakdowns and groovy electric guitar riffs, "Start Again" makes us want to hit the repeat button.
Onto the second track "Dreaming of the City," within the first thirty seconds, we can hear a variety of diverse elements that make the song so unique. Starting with riveting power chords and upbeat drum patterns, we're left with the sole sound of a piano and Alyssa Harris' angelic vocals. She's so animated when she begins singing, as she genuinely places her heart within each lyric she exclaims. Alyssa sings a message similar to the first song, explaining that she dreams of leaving her town and escaping to the city with a fresh start. This hi-fi soft rock tune definitely stands out with authority on this EP.
Moving on to the third track, and Alyssa Harris' noted favorite, "Irish Goodbye." The song begins with a foot-stomping drum beat and vigorous electric guitar power chords. While transcendent keys make their way in, Alyssa Harris starts singing a message that we've all felt before. She goes into detail explaining a relationship that's run its course and how Alyssa attempts to make a smooth exit without making a fuss over it. The instrumentals are as inspiring as the lyrics, sharing melodies that get us out of any negative headspaces and remind us that the future holds countless blessings. Alyssa Harris truly put her heart and soul into this track, and it's intoxicating.
Slowing it down at the next track "There for You," the introduction is incredibly mesmerizing through soulful piano chords and Alyssa Harris' sublime vocal stylings. The instrumentals are very jazz-infused, and the down-tempo pace allows Alyssa Harris to explain the woes she experiences within. Singing a loving story to what sounds to be her mother, Alyssa Harris mentions that all she aims for is to make her proud, even though she's away most of the time. Again, pouring her heart and soul into this piece, we're left getting lost in Alyssa's enchanting vocals, and we're compelled by her vulnerable and honest songwriting.
Reminding us that there are "More Good Times" with the next track, we're instantly taken to the islands with the song's bright reggae instrumentation. Alyssa Harris begins singing, and her lyrics are so relatable and allow us to realize that the past isn't all sunshine and rainbows. She sings about catching herself comparing life today to life before and explains that we shouldn't romanticize the past, but the future instead. The groovy and bouncy reggae instrumentals perfectly reflect Alyssa Harris's positive message and grace us with an infectious rhythm that we can't seem to shake. A song that can take you out of a rut and into bliss, "More Good Times," is definitely a beacon of hope.
Ending off the EP with an acoustic remix of "Dreaming of the City (Acoustic Remix)," this time around, we can hear Alyssa Harris' deep emotion emphasized with heartfelt piano melodies. The song is that much more haunting when it's solely Alyssa Harris accompanied by ethereal piano. Her vocal melodies and melisma continue to wow us, while she captivates us at the hook and belts her lyrics with poise and surreal talent. The second time around the hook, Alyssa Harris incorporates an added vocal harmony that levels the track to perfection. Leaving the EP 'Wild Dreamer' with power and hope, it would be an understatement to say that Alyssa Harris' EP moved us. It took us to foreign places of the heart and helped us familiarize ourselves with change. Don't miss out on this positive experience.
Hey Alyssa Harris, welcome to BuzzMusic! You capture such a needed positive message with your EP 'Wild Dreamer.' What inspired you to write songs based on your desire to start fresh?
A lot of the music that I've written for previous projects has had different themes, but I've always been drawn to music with a positive message. It came naturally to me to write about the things that I was experiencing aside from personal relationships; I have been feeling a shift lately with the place I am in my career and in life in general. I feel like I am at a crossroads between an "old" life and a new one: with music, with people, with work... and writing this EP has captured that for me.
Alyssa Harris, you mentioned that your favorite song off the EP is "Irish Goodbye." Why does the song stand out to you, and what made you choose the term "Irish Goodbye"?
I really love the music in this song. I heard the chords in my head one day and sang them out to my guitarist who interpreted what I was feeling, so beautifully and accurately. I love that you can kind of feel an alternative/rock-ish vibe to it, but I also like that you can't really put your finger on it. The expression "Irish Goodbye" basically means to leave a party without saying goodbye, or otherwise making it known that you're making an exit. I thought it was a cool concept when you think about it in terms of relationships... just skipping over the knock-down fights, the endless texting, the coming back to their house to grab your things. It's not that you are "ghosting" them necessarily, but just leaving the situation as quietly as possible to avoid extra pain and heartache or just overall awkwardness that happens after a breakup and you or the other person can't just let it go. Leave that memory behind and make a fresh start.
Speaking on the instrumentals within the entire EP 'Wild Dreamer,' Alyssa Harris incorporates genres like alt-pop, soft rock, and reggae. What drove you to create a project with vastly different musical approaches?
Part of that I just attribute to the fact that I write and sing what I feel. I have always had a hard time "picking" a genre to sing since I started writing music because people would try to put me in a box as to what they thought I should be singing when the reality is I love (and I am inspired by) every type of music imaginable. There are times when I start writing a song and it sounds like it might be a rock tune, but once I get into the studio and add musicians to the mix, it turns out to be a whole different type of vibe. Most of the original songs that I have previously recorded are Pop/R&B, and since it's been so long since then, I wanted to freely approach a new EP by allowing myself the freedom to play around with different styles, and see which ones felt best to me.
We've heard that Alyssa Harris' live performances are like no other, especially through your level of audience engagement. Which songs are you most excited to perform off your 'Wild Dreamer' EP, and why?
When live performance is back in some capacity, and I have the opportunity to work with the amazing musicians that recorded my project with me, I can't wait to perform the high-energy rock tunes off the EP, "Dreaming of the City" and "Start Again". I just imagine so much freedom and fun associated with those two pieces, and I picture so much energy coming out through my connection with the audience and my interactions with those musicians. One thing I know that audiences love (I love to see it when I'm an audience member) is the people onstage not only having a good time but connecting with each other to bring forth an amazing performance for the crowd to see.
What's next for you?
I am really excited to be able to perform Wild Dreamer live when the time comes. During the current state of live venues and such, I can't say when that will be, but as soon as it's possible, I will be performing original music in local venues around Las Vegas and Los Angeles, and my goal is to book some regional venues or fairs in the fall. When travel comes back in full force, I will be back to headlining shows on cruise ships worldwide. In the meantime, I am always working on side projects that can be found via my website and social media, songwriting, teaching voice lessons, practicing, and just overall keeping my creative juices flowing as much as possible. I always have something in the works.