WE REVIEW THE ALBUM FROM SONYA LORELLE – INTO THE WILD
In her latest album, Sonya Lorelle unveils the complex strain that loss can inflict on a person. Into The Wild is comprised of ten equally stunning songs, each exploring themes of identity, awareness, hope and more. Lorelle navigates listeners through this winding journey of grief from uplifting ballads to deep bluesy grooves.
As a counselling professor and grief researcher beyond her musical persona, Lorelle is well versed in articulating these themes with sensitivity and poise. Speaking on the project, Sonya says “”The Wild” represents the lost space that can be difficult to manoeuvre through and can cause us to question how our identity has changed post loss.” From the outset, her experiences become apparent, creating a deeply personal air around the album.
There are many faces to this record. Contrary to what you may expect, Into The Wild is far from a depressing compilation of songs voiced by someone wallowing in their mournful state. It’s rich with the vast sea emotions that present themselves surrounding a loss. No avenue of the process is left unexplored, like the story of impending separation in Surrender. This powerful ballad is shrouded in vulnerability told through reflective lyrics that capture the moments of uncertainty as someone is about to pass on. It starts with sorrow but ends with hope, setting the tone for the album.
These spirited ballads feature multiple times throughout, from Losing You – a truly raw and introspective tear-jerker – to It’s Time and Drunk On Your Kisses represent the light at the end of the tunnel. Each song is produced with expert precision and showcases Lorelle’s signature piano-based style.
A particularly captivating part of the album is its title track, Into The Wild. Gentle jazz instrumentals compliment Lorelle’s intense vocals, and it’s almost Disney-esque with its enchanting melodies. Meanwhile, her words touch parts of grief that you can’t possibly comprehend until you’ve felt them, making for a thought-provoking moment.
On the flip side of these weighty ballads, you’ve got the rousing depth of Lorelle’s blues songs. Track two, Want this Life and track nine, Whiskey Crying, bring a groovy respite to the intensity of the album, with more soulful vocals and a variation of new instruments. Having such a contrast of styles within one overall piece is rare and gives Into The Wild a cutting edge.
It’s clear that Sonya Lorelle has poured a wealth of time, feeling and hard work into this album. Conveying such themes is a tough thing to do, let alone to do it well. But what she’s created here is nothing short of a masterpiece. I’ve no doubt that many people will listen to and cherish this album for what is it.
Into The Wild is now available on all streaming platforms.