Aotearoa’s Alayna Today Unveils Breathtaking Debut Album,‘Self Portrait Of A Woman Unravelling’
July 7, 2023 BY Jason Currell
Aotearoa singer and songwriter alayna has today released her gorgeous, highly anticipated debut album, Self Portrait Of A Woman Unravelling. Also out today is alayna’s lead single, the spaciously emotive track ‘A World Without You’.
Listen to Self Portrait Of A Woman Unravelling here
An exploration of the self, documented through music ranging from folk and singer-songwriter to R&B and pop influences, the incredible 14-track album is an intimate and personal memoir of alayna’s journey to understanding herself, both as a creative and musician; but also as a human. With an exquisite skill for lyric writing and an instantly captivating voice, alayna showcases a breathtaking vulnerability across the album, inviting her audience in for the ride.
“I’ve had this album concept in my head for over five years and knew that it needed to be written, it was only about when it felt it was the right time,” says alayna. “I knew that diving into exploring this subject would be confronting, but what I wasn’t prepared for was that the more that I leaned into myself, the more the woman I was so desperately wanting to get a grasp of would unravel further. This album documents my process of leaning in, the subsequent unravelling that happened, and all the questions and answers that I experienced along the way.”
Released by Nettwerk Music Group and made with support from NZ On Air, Self Portrait Of A Woman Unravelling features an impressive array of award-winning and sought after producers, including Noema Te Hau, John Mark Nelson, Simon Gooding, Devin Abrams, Levi Patel, Lukas Wharekura (Squibbs), Josh Naley (Wells*), and Joel Jones.
Recording nearly all of her own vocals in Tāmaki Makaurau’s Big Fan Studios alone, alayna says she felt “so many of the songs were so personal, and so needed to get the delivery right.” Amongst the solitude vital in achieving the delicate, emotive and personal overarching presence throughout the album, alayna also says “it was the community around me, and those I worked on the album with, that were vital in getting it to its final form.”
Also out today is alayna’s heartfelt new single ‘A World Without You’. Written a few months after learning of a family member’s illness, alayna began writing the song by sitting at the piano, repeatedly singing “I don’t know much, but I know one thing to be true, I don’t want a world without you”. Not sure if she’d have the strength to continue writing about this feeling, a songwriting session with Devin Abrams helped her feel safe enough to continue, with the final track featuring Aotearoa pianist Nick Dow, and James Bush on Cello.
“I never realised the limits of my love for this person until I realised that I could lose them, and it was this moment in my life, and also the album, where I recognised I could have the capacity to feel again, even if it was hard,” reflects alayna. “‘World Without You’ feels like the greatest love song I have ever written.”
‘A World Without You’ joins the album’s previous singles ‘Arrived’, ‘Meteors’, ‘Cherry Tree’, ‘If You Want My Love’ and ‘Buckle In Baby’ – the latter of which reached #8 in the Hot 20 NZ Singles Chart. ‘If You Want My Love’ has notably already reached over 600k streams on Spotify alone.
The video for ‘Arrived’ was released earlier this week, and premiered on Wonderland, watch HERE.
alayna has recently announced she will be performing two live shows in support of the album; the first on Friday July 7 at Auckland’s Big Fan and the second, a special home town show on Saturday July 15 at Level 13 in Rotorua. Tickets are on sale here.
Don’t miss the opportunity to witness this outstanding artist live, as she shares an intimate performance of today’s album, a release which “means the world. It’s been my dream to create a debut album; I feel equally excited and nervous to share something so personal with the world, but I know it’s time for others to have these songs now.”
Self Portrait Of A Woman Unravelling is available to stream here
SELF PORTRAIT OF A WOMAN UNRAVELLING TRACK LISTING: