BEGONIA shares the video for new single ‘Cold Night’

Credit: Calvin Lee Joseph

Begonia’s reputation as one of the biggest, boldest voices to emerge from Canada in recent years continued with her recent single ‘Right Here’. Earning airplay and acclaim that stretched into the UK, US, Germany and beyond, it provided a taste of the JUNO Award and Polaris Music Prize nominee’s second album ‘Powder Blue’, which follows on February 24th. She now takes another big step towards the album by sharing its latest single, ‘Cold Night’, and an accompanying video. 

As ‘Cold Night’ so enchantingly demonstrates, this second chapter of Begonia’s career feels like a balance between eras. Her stunning voice feels completely timeless, upscaling seemingly effortlessly from softly enunciated soul to a full-blooded, utterly expressive outpouring of emotion. And while the song’s structure and resonant drama is similarly classic, its production is full of modern, innovative touches: the heavenly vocal harmonies that swirl around her topline, the rhythmic bass and beats that struts with the sass of alternative R&B, and especially the way production duo Deadmen deploy its affecting string arrangement to underline song’s ultimate redemption.

Begonia says, “This song is the breakdown of a horrible life-changing relationship in three parts. Like…stages of grief I guess? Verse one is when you’re not ready to let go and just the thought of being ‘left behind’ makes you feel so desperate and detached, like you’re not even human anymore. Verse two is reflecting on the reality of the relationship itself and particular stories that come up only when it’s time to reveal the truth. The last part of the song after the strings hit is all about accepting it for what it is and moving forward. Like sitting in your despair and sadness, but also knowing that it needed to be over and that you did the right thing by walking away.”

The journey of self-discovery that Begonia sings about is captured by the changing atmospheres of its official video, which was directed by Tyler Funk. At first, Begonia is stood still, barely lit in a desolate forest and looking like a crestfallen, jilted bride. But her performance grows in power as the story unfolds, the burst of light that emerges as the strings hit providing the first sign that hope can follow heartache. And as the final shot lingers on Begonia staring at the sky, it’s clear that the only way is up.

Watch the video for ‘Cold Night’ – BELOW:

‘Cold Night’ and ‘Right Here’ foreshadow the eclectic sounds that Begonia presents on ‘Powder Blue’: from trip-hop beats and pulsating propulsive grooves through to vintage soul, soaring ballady, and synth-led alt-pop. Written during a time of tumultuous emotions in her life, the record is ‘Powder Blue’ both in name and in mood, with songs that evocatively explore life’s thornier moments, from specific situations such as vivid heartbreak at a New Year’s party to the acceptance that a relationship can work – and can even be stronger – in spite of its unconventionality.

Begonia, real name Alexa Dirks, has a strong homeland following in Canada which looks poised to make her the nation’s next breakout alt-diva. Having so far released her first EP ‘Lady In Mind’ and her debut album ‘Fear’, Begonia has twice topped the Canadian airplay charts, been nominated for Alternative Album of the Year at the JUNO Awards, and been longlisted for the Polaris Music Prize.

Begonia is currently completing an ambitious short film to further preview the release of ‘Powder Blue’. It sets a megacut of extracts of all of its songs to a feast of vivid imagery and mind-betting costumes which shows the visual references that she had in mind during the album’s creation: her baby blanket, the airiness of clouds on a summer day, chlorine-filled water in a hotel pool, circa-1970s Elvis Presley wearing an ill-fitting jumpsuit, her collection of faded denim jackets.

She also recently announced her first shows in support of the album, starting with a major release day performance at Toronto’s Great Hall on February 24th. Please see her website for details of her upcoming live shows.

Xsnoize Author
Mark Millar is the founder of XS Noize and looks after the daily running of the website as well as hosting interviews for the weekly XS Noize Podcast. Mark's favourite album is Achtung Baby by U2.

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