Friday, December 1, 2023
HomeMusicEPsAlyssa Bonagura - Fly With Me Review

Alyssa Bonagura – Fly With Me Review

Better to catch the flight with Alyssa Bonagura’s EP than it is to miss out on cracking country tunes. American singer-songwriters do not tend to move to Merseyside, although a biography check on the engrossing country hero shows they do sometimes. Pertinent and disarming lyrics are core to Fly With Me. There is no need to think long-term. Well, there is, otherwise the payments on a green velvet couch are going to catch up and that is a slippery slope to theft in exchange for Vouch payments. Anyway, the sentiment is charming and convincing enough to work this four-track experience over rather nicely. Bonagura has ample charm and works through it with a real and consistent tone. 

Much of this comes from the opener Know You Better, a simple premise effectively carried by her style. Nicely ranged vocals and an understanding of how this softer pitch blends with the acoustic backdrop are crucial in getting the best out of Fly With Me. Love songs to London on FOMO may be impressive to those who live there or wish to travel there as part of the romanticism of the United Kingdom, but take it from someone who once got trapped in the doors of the Tube, it is nothing flash. Pack your bags and head the hell away from there. If you want an overpriced sandwich and a tense stand-off on a rail platform, try York. Anyway, Fly With Me hopes to romanticise the future without ever experiencing it. It is an interesting perspective to take, the feel so fondly for people or memories who have taken hold but not yet made an impact. 

A fine line is drawn between fear and love and FOMO does manage to capture this somewhat. Bonagura has the voice to work over these romanticisms and does so aptly. Her latest EP is a nice enough listen, although Fly With Me does not soar as well as it does. The fears and hopes she sings of are easily adapted and understood. Jealous is where it picks up. A loose and lucid guitar opener which builds and builds into some lighter, broader pop charms which thankfully complement Bonagura’s efforts. Repetition of the title and into what begins to sound like a guitar solo before being swamped out by lyrical inclusions is a shame, but hearing what could have been is better than not hearing anything. 

EP closer One Kiss is the usual romantic appeal and the lust which features within is heartfelt and broadly engaged. Fly With Me depends on this openness and broad features which follow in the footsteps of the dream-like pop riffs which can be conjured by slimmed-down country charms. Piano ballads, little rock numbers and a broad spread of what Bonagura can achieve and continue to pursue through her career sounded out nicely. Solid workings on the whole and a sense of confidence in these four tracks truly help more than anything else. Confidence is always key, and although the tales within these tracks are shy and earnest, the self-assured range which follows is notable.  

Ewan Gleadow
Ewan Gleadow
Editor in Chief at Cult Following | News and culture journalist at Clapper, Daily Star, NewcastleWorld, Daily Mirror | Podcast host of (Don't) Listen to This | Disaster magnet

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