REVIEW: Alisa Wayne (Ranzel X Kendrick) — Love One Another (SINGLE/VIDEO)
We might be no more than two months into this new year, but I can say as a music critic that 2023 has provided quite the backdrop for fostering thoughtful folk songs. A lot of new-era artists are taking the framework of their forerunners and presenting some of the smartest concept works we’ve heard in the past half-century, and among those I’ve been listening to lately, Alias Wayne’s striking new single “Love One Another” is one of my personal favorites.
Without creating a lot of forced pressure in the arrangement, this is one of the tightest, leanest songs that I’ve had the chance to listen to in the past couple of months, as well as being a stoic but quite telling profile of who its performer Ranzel X Kendrick is. I’d never heard his work before despite being aware of 2022’s “Chaperon,” but I already like what Alias Wayne is doing from a technical point of view in this single.
There’s a certain iconic vibe to the way this singer is delivering and, to some extent, structuring the lyrics in “Love One Another” to suit his personality, and upon learning about Alias Wayne’s abilities just in listening to the first thirty seconds here, the aesthetics started making a lot of sense. The rusticity of the rhythm, even the delicate but playful nature of the harmonies between the strings and our singer’s voice speaks to an artistic identity that you can’t fake or synthetically insert into a song on a whim. The understated vocal cues and the way he’s using them to build a narrative in this track are authentic, and you can’t overvalue a feature as integral to organic songcraft as that is.
The bass tones, as distant as they might be in spots, and the foundation they lay are pretty moderate up until we reach the first climactic push in the chorus of “Love One Another,” after which I think their unruliness is essential to driving the point behind these lyrics home. Alias Wayne might be a new face to a lot of us, myself included, but he’s not being foolish with his utilization of conservative performance attitudes here; from my perspective, indulgence would have been a surefire way to make his role in this song sound a little too theatrical for most critics’ taste.
He’s breaking away from those who are hurriedly rejecting the minimalism movement in the folk underground right now, and he’s got my respect for trying to do as much in his latest release.
Alias Wayne won’t have a hard time collecting a lot of new fans right with “Love One Another” this February, and while he’s entering the mainstream at a moment in which a lot of singer/songwriters are competing for just a sliver of the spotlight, he shouldn’t feel intimidated by the daunting task ahead of him.
Love One Another
Listen to Love One Another on Spotify. Ranzel X Kendrick · Single · 2022 · 1 songs.
With a voice as strong as shapely as his is even on a track that’s as difficult to present as this one could have been, Kendrick is bound to get better and even more personal as time goes by. I’ll be eager to hear more of his work, and this is a great tipping-off point for newcomers no matter how you dice it.