Claudia Alende is an electro-pop influenced singer/songwriter who is going to get your attention this year one way or another, and fans of exciting new music should definitely be getting excited about her arrival on the scene. Her brand new single “Spotlight” has been ripping its way through the American pop underground and garnering acclaim from both critics and fans alike, and there’s plenty of reasons to join her bandwagon of new disciples. I’m usually more than hesitant about buying into the momentum of new artists – particularly ones that are only two singles into their discography, but there’s something special about Alende that makes me feel like this time getting a little hyped is appropriate.
“Spotlight” is modest in its design but the shadows of ethereal color it casts over the listener is as big and bad as they come. There’s something danger-laden and seductive in the way she describes love and how it can isolate us from the world. Her croon is ominously delivered to us in at almost half the tempo that we’re expecting, and the result is an unintimidating pop ballad that is as slick as it is artsy and, dare I say, a tad bohemian.
Claudia is such a progressive composer for the genre of music that she’s seeking to leave a mark on, and her method of attack is sincerely intriguing to me not just as a music journalist but as a musician myself. “Spotlight” creeps around its climax almost as if it wants to make the tension last extra-long, and it’s in that tension where we discover how smoothly she can weave her lyrics into the music. There’s a ton of anticipation in the song that isn’t satisfied all at once in an epic chorus; it’s distributed evenly to us throughout the course of the entire track.
In a lot of ways I think this song is a perfect example of making streamlined pop music without descending into jingle territory. There’s a couple of moments, specifically in the break between the main verse and the chorus, where Claudia has the chance to go completely over the top and unleash a barrage of tones and textures at us in one fell swoop. But rather than cutting corners, she resists the urge to come undone and disciplines her melody into a muscular, overwhelmingly bright sonic harmony that is almost guaranteed to leave you completely stunned.
Whether you’re into R&B, hip-hop, pop or even alternative rock, Claudia Alende has got something for you to connect with in “Spotlight.” Her charismatic sound and charmingly original sense of style is hard not to fall in love with, and I would challenge anyone who thinks they can find a more adept and skilled artist making music today to bring them to my attention immediately. This business is all about first impressions, and when you’ve got the moves and the rhythm that Claudia’s got, it makes it hard to forget a song like “Spotlight.” There’s an awful lot of talented artists recording professionally these days, but this songwriter sticks out as one of the most creative I’ve heard in years.
Instagram: @claudiaalende, https://www.instagram.com/claudiaalende/
Thomas Patton, III