A Beautiful Masterpiece 02.14.15
It just takes one listen to Heartspace Timepiece from Alejandra O'Leary and the Champions of the West, to acknowledge it as a beautiful masterpiece. This indie rock band based in Michigan and North Carolina, craft and perform amazingly lush pop music with outstanding vocals and ...
Phillycheeze's Rock and Blues Reviews, Phillip Smith
Struggle brings inspiration to The West 09.10.14
To open her second set, Alejandra O'Leary decides to perform a cover song without her band. Wearing a denim jacket over a farmers market t-shirt and jeans, she sits on a stool with her acoustic guitar as the packed-in coffeehouse crowd watches her play a stripped-down cover of th ...
Michigan Daily, Adam Theisen
Review: Heartspace Timepiece by Alejandra O'Leary & the Champions of the West 09.01.14
Heartspace Timepiece is a truly modern album that combines most loved elements of rock with unexpected and unique elements, making for a compelling musical landscape. The musicianship is near perfect and the arrangements solid, thus reaching for a mystic musical vista that is a ...
Damn Good Tunes, Linda Mewhirter
Alejandra O'Leary shows off pop/rock sound of her band's new CD 08.25.14
Alejandra O'Leary delights in opposites. So it's no surprise that her new CD, "Heartspace Timepiece," is inspired by both edgy rock and crafty pop.
"I love those two styles so much. I love The Ramones, I love The Strokes and I love ABBA," she said. O'Leary and her band, Champi ...
Ann Arbor News, Roger LeLievre
That 1990s Spirit 08.25.14
In the 1980s and 1990s, women had more room to be tough on the radio. From Natalie Merchant in 10,000 Maniacs to Suzanne Vega to the Bangles to the Cowboy Junkies, female pop stars maintained the memorable hooks and lighter production touch that marked them as, well, pop stars--b ...
Ann Arbor Observer, Patrick Dunn
Alejandra O'Leary's fiercely sweet new album, "All I Know" (2016) opens with a swath of transcendent noise. The feral crunch and yearning of "Doubtless" jumpstarts a collection
of dizzying and defiant pop songs, each one showcasing O'Leary's gifts for melodic hooks and emotional bravado.
"Tell me the truth, always tell me the truth," goes the opening song's pleading chorus, and truth-telling, in off-kilter beats, daringly unorthodox arrangements, and slinky hook-laced melodies, is what O'Leary does best in this irresistible collection.
Past O'Leary projects fused her immaculate ear for pop music and melodic invention to a wild penchant for rock and roll. "All I Know" gives us O'Leary unleashed, ripe with swagger and sadness. O'Leary sings sweetly, but she plays the guitar with drive and distortion, leading a band of creative rockers and inviting her most daring followers along for a sensual and surprising ride.
"I'm an arrow aimed at you," O'Leary sings in the opening line of "Lighthouse," one of the
album's most hard-rocking and infectious tracks. The song poetically sums up O'Leary's recent life experience along the coasts of North Carolina and Maine. Never has O'Leary sounded so confident in her craft, especially when emotions are big, bad, and raw. Indeed, one of the album's chief pleasures is listening to O'Leary struggle to tame her feelings in the bright trappings of pop music.
In "Owen" and "Dreamlife" she turns the tricks memory plays into riotous carnivals of sound and feeling. Both songs evoke the Beatles in their playful deconstructions of rock convention and instrumentation, and in their bittersweet harmonies backing O'Leary's reveries of romantic fascination.
"I'm Amused" begins with O'Leary's plaintive baritone guitar and haunted voice, and ends with drums that go off like cannons.
"Trace/Color/Light" is a classic summer love song filtered through thick layers of distortion, feedback, and explosiveness.
Finally, "I Only Came Here For Your Body" turns the end of an affair into something dark and threatening: "You rock
like a zombie now/With your soul crushed/...I'm coming to prey on you/I'm going to lay you out/Then I'm going to finish you off..."
O'Leary produced "All I Know" in collaboration with Mark Simonsen and Thom Canova, longtime associates of Durham, NC's The Old Ceremony. The album's cover sketch, a companion to the song "Lighthouse," was created by Klaus Voormann, longtime friend and associate of the Beatles.
"All I Know" will be released by Sheepdog Sheethog Music on September 9, 2016.