Charlotte Day Wilson’s voice may be familiar to some; she previously featured on KAYTRANADA’s “What You Need” and provided the central vocal melody for BADBADNOTGOOD’s “In Your Eyes.” And while the Toronto-based artist first made inroads by sharing the spotlight with high-profile collaborators like those, with Alpha, Wilson is ready to take center stage. Her debut full-length is all her—vocally forward and lyrically bare. The songs are centered on Wilson’s rich, soulful voice, giving her tracks the intimacy of a private performance, while also boasting dense, artful production.
Alpha opens with “Strangers,” a track that is almost entirely a cappella, Wilson’s voice cutting through a backdrop of harmonies that ebb and flow, punctuated by a crisp electronic drum kick. “Love Sick Utopia” offers a swaying, reverb-heavy mix of fingerpicked guitar and slippery melodic riffs, and on “If I Could,” a synth line mirrors Wilson’s dramatic, layered vocals, giving the track the same power as if she’d enlisted a full choir. Wilson’s tone shifts throughout the album, from longing to melancholy to hopeful, always maintaining an overall sense of tenderness. On Alpha, Wilson is strong yet soft.