Vissia “Placeholder” (Hurry Hard Records, 2017)

From Alberta Canada, Vissia is singer songwriter Alex Vissia who here offers us nine songs born from experience, “This album is a collection of songs, each holding a place in my experiential past.  Like any memory, the edges get fuzzy with time and my perspective on situations can change, but I look at each song as a snapshot, a moment in time and each song brings me back to a place.”  That’s as may be but essentially the album is a fine although unremarkable collection of indie rock with a dash of torch song added to the mix.

Many of the songs portray her as a loser in the love stakes and there are elements of k.d. lang and Neko Case simmering in her vocals while the echoey garage like production throughout is somewhat endearing. However, and despite some highlights, much of the album flows by without really arousing much emotion from the listener. The opening ‘Mountaineer’ sounds like something Adele might tackle even though Vissia gives it a swampy blues arrangement while ‘Night Romancer’ is another full voiced ballad which is spoiled by the lengthy and torturous guitar solo at the end.

While there are some attractive country tinged songs here (‘Whiskey Walk,’ ‘Macondo’) Vissia is at her best when she strips away the band for the skeletal ‘The Kind of Good’  which allows her voice plenty of space to show itself off. There’s also the perky ‘Let Her Stay’ which sounds like it could have been released on Postcard Records or Cherry Red back in the 80’s.

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Canadian indie pop which which just fails to set the prairies on fire

About Paul Kerr 343 Articles
Still searching for the Holy Grail, a 10/10 album, so keep sending them in.


  1. I’m sure the writing on the album can’t be as bad as the writing in this review. The ‘insert female singers here’ bs is lazy and uncreative.

    I’m excited to listen to the album now just because I need something to listen to while cleaning up the vomit this review induced.

    Points for naming one other Canadian artist in the comparisons.

    • Sorry for the emetic effect the review had on you and I can understand that you might disagree with my opinion but I’m puzzled by your response. Other reviews have had “female singers” comparisons, I mean, I’m not going to compare Vissia to Tom Waits, am I? And then I get a point for having one of the comparisons being Canadian! Doesn’t make sense. Anyway, there are some positive points in the review, it’s not negative and I’m sorry your friend didn’t get a more sympathetic (or better writer) to review the album.

  2. A torch song is either sung by a miner to pass the time whilst trying to find their lunchbox in a dark corner or a powerful sad or sentimental love song, typically about unrequited love.
    Hope this helps

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