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MP3 Ali Wesley - All Things (My Two Fish)

Acoustic playful pop with pure, infectious melodies and honest lyrics about love, loss and all things in between.

11 MP3 Songs
FOLK: Folk Pop, POP: Delicate

"All Things (My Two Fish)" communicates the struggles of loss as well as the fever of love. Recording began in the fall of 2006, after Ali Wesley had just experienced both the traumatic loss of a loved one and the passionate beginnings of a new life.

In producing this album, the goal was to create a collection of songs which revealed this particular time period of life. The lyrics are delivered as if from a secret journal entry, quietly examining the conflict that comes along with such restlessness.

Ali Wesley combines the darling honesty of Regina Spektor, the fragility of Mazzy Star and crisp vocals soaring above acoustic guitar and delicately placed harmonies. Such musical guests as Jay Mallison, Rob Bartleson and John Vecchiarelli are featured on the recordings and their beautifully placed musical additions were as vital as their presence on the album.

Read some recent reviews:

"Ali Wesley has the voice of an angel. It''s simple, pure, elegant. And her debut full-length, All Things (My Two Fish), would have you believe she''s got the disposition of one, too. From the opening track, she sings darling folk-pop ballads about love, love, love. But that''s only if you scratch the surface; amid all that mushiness lie stories of regret, imperfection, uneasiness and (gasp!) sex.

But the purely lovey material—some of the tracks are truly wholesome—is quite good in its own right. "And" describes how it feels to have a guardian angel over simple, brushed drums and acoustic guitar: "I accelerate through all the lights/ And I''m not scared." It''s undeniably sappy, but Wesley''s conviction—and her knack for infectious melodies—make it more charming than cloying. Likewise, "Blah Blah," though rooted in a potentially nauseating concept (that it''s taboo to say "I love you" in a song), comes off clever. It starts with a drum-machine beat reminiscent of Ben Gibbard''s early, lo-fi work as All-American Quarterback, which Wesley beefs up with a backdrop of synthesized organ, acoustic guitar and dainty, staccato backing vocals. Again, the whole thing is very sweet, but her explanations ("This language we''ve got has its pros and it cons/ And it''s too bad there''s only one way") make you smile more than cringe.

Wesley''s good-girl facade is spoiled completely—thankfully—about two-thirds of the way through, though, by the darkly sensual "Love at You." Over minor, picked guitar, Wesley (who also plays drums and sings in local folk-pop band Super XX Man) says, "I hike up my skirt/ I have no pride." Later in the same song, she uses her divine voice to describe tying someone to a garden post to make sure they "stay." And "That Bridge," with its creepy cadence and sinister refrain of "You''ll die on that bridge," adds a welcome dose of poison to Wesley''s honey.

Earlier in the album during a shout-out (in title only) to Nico, Wesley even claims, "I was your creamiest dream" and outlines a guilt complex on the vaguely bluesy "Chelsea Girl." But, even when Wesley''s lyrics betray her angelic voice, she still sings of love above all else. And Wesley seems to believe that love''s a tangible thing: As she croons on "And," "You love me/ And I can hold that in my hands"—spoken like a true angel." AMY MCCULLOUGH, Willamette Week 6/20/07

"While her earliest material was stark and suited for the waning hours of an open mic coffeehouse session, Alison Wesley''s excellent new album, All Things (My Two Fish), glistens with the playful pop sheen of a youthful Regina Spektor. Her lively songs and innocent voice, especially on the drum machine-backed "Blah Blah," propel her far beyond the rigid world of solo singer/songwriters. Her record is out today, so line Wesley''s pockets with some cash, as it''s the best purchase you''ll make in a while." EZRA ACE CARAEFF, Portland Mercury 6/24/07

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