alū - Mrs. Hypochondriac (Self-Released)
Add Date: 10/4
Focus Tracks: 2, 3, & 1
Artist Info: Most little girls play with Barbie dolls, love cartoons, and are afraid of the dark. Singer/Songwriter alū (pronounced A-loo) was not one of them.
One listen to her latest album, the playfully haunting Mrs. Hypochondriac, and it’s shockingly clear that alū is most definitely not like most little girls. Packing a powerful vocal - and lyrical - punch, the album runs the gamut from melodic, lounge-style ditties to quirky cabaret to whimsical waltzes with gothic undertones and avant-garde slant. She’s certainly earned the title of “The Siren of Psychosis” (Echoes Radio), lives up to the comparison of “Kate Bush on a broomstick” (Campus Circle), and once again “makes doom and decay sound sexy and ethereal” (Music Connection).
Mrs. Hypochondriac was produced by alū and multi-instrumentalist Gabe Morley, making it her most personal, intimate, and revealing album yet. alū’s fourth release is a story of survival - surviving a tumultuous marriage, divorce, and an MS diagnosis. “I went through the most suffering to get this album out. In many ways, this record saved me because creating it helped me deal with so much trauma,” says alū, who cites an eclectic mix of favorite artists, such as Tom Waits, Radiohead, Chopin, Joni Mitchell, and two artists she’s often been compared to - Tori Amos and Bjork.
The title track, “Mrs. Hypochondriac,” is her anthem for invisible illness. “Prior to being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, I had a lot of weird symptoms that doctors couldn’t explain. People often accused me of being a hypochondriac. It was a really difficult time,” she explains.
On “Marie,” alū reconciles her little girl dreams with the harsh reality of being an adult while “Nemesis,” a whimsical waltz, is one of the more lyrically adventurous tracks on the record with clever word play about her disappointing marriage and random observations on the absurdities of life.
The album ends on an uplifting note of hope with the stripped down vocals-and-piano ballad “Phoenix.” The lyrics go, “There’s a feeling in my veins that I will love again / The battle’s done and I am still standing.” “I survived a lot and feel stronger for it,” she says.