Alexandra Henderson: “Loving Someone (Who Doesn’t Love You)” – between the sublime and the sensory

Alexandra Henderson is a singer-songwriter, who accompanies herself with a banjo or harp. She sang “The Star Spangled Banner” in the movie Away We Go by Sam Mendes. She...

Alexandra Henderson is a singer-songwriter, who accompanies herself with a banjo or harp. She sang “The Star Spangled Banner” in the movie Away We Go by Sam Mendes. She also is a songwriting specialist certified by Berklee College of Music. Alexandra has written four CD albums, with two of them currently released and the other two set to be released by February 2019. In between the pure emotion, vocal talent, and the fine-tuned stylings of her harp, Henderson’s album “Loving Someone (Who Doesn’t Love You)”, has that elusive mix of art and artistry that undeniably draws you to it. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always an invested interest toward female voices. I was acutely aware of, and interested in, their narratives and perspectives on life and love.

Alexandra Henderson’s melodic, minimal arrangements fashion the perfect backdrop for her crystalline vocals and evocative lyrics, all of which lend this album an even more pronounced intimacy and emotional resonance. Ethereal album opener “Lonely” gains steam through Henderson’s exquisitely crafted soundscape and her earnest ruminations.

She traverses the fragility and resilience of the human heart with a refreshing, understated sincerity devoid of pretense. A note of interest: At the end of this listening experience, “Lonely” would become my indisputable favorite track on the album.

The track, “Loving Someone (Who Doesn’t Love You)”, as its title suggests, delves into what, for many of us is tantamount to the realization of our worst nightmare: the loss of our partner, either through indifference, or of never having had them in the first place – the experience of unrequited love.

It’s an excellent song, well-performed with enough restraint that its forlornness can shine through. The sparse, harp blessed “Relief” places Alexandra Henderson’s steady, reassuring voice at the forefront, as she validates the liberation of a crystalline falsetto.

All throughout the album, the haunting folk and classical lilt, and her distinctive voice are mixed with genuinely strong songs, generally telling stories of the tempestuous power of love. All performed with a sonic, passionate radiance that belies any thoughts of commercialism, relying on the strength of Henderson’s song writing, and the atmospheric landscape created by harp.

“Cody (Age 13)” is another captivating performance by Alexandra Henderson, where the listener can hear her poetic eloquence and sense the raw emotions. Henderson takes risks on this musical project and showcases her vulnerability. Many listeners will find themselves relating to the majority, if not all of the songs. “Esmeralda and Frollo” lifts the poignancy of this album to an even higher level of sensitivity.

Henderson’s voice goes for the higher register and plays off the fluctuating harmonies really well. It’s divine and shows what just having a lovely melody can do. The album closes to the notes of the single “Forever”, which is garnished with an undercurrent of throbbing percussion and a subtle electronic sapor.

Henderson’s marvelous voice, which shifts effortlessly from ethereal to worldly, sounds strong and pliant throughout. A must have for any music library looking beyond the pop formula, and somewhere between the sublime and the sensory for its kicks.

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