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  • Writer's pictureCHRIS FARLIE

SINGLE REVIEW: ALYSSA FLAHERTY - UNDER THE INFLUENCE

ALYSSA FLAHERTY - UNDER THE INFLUENCE

Making an immediate impact on #TEAMw21 with her debut single is Alyssa Flaherty with "Under The Influence" which a superior first outing well worth investigating. For those wanting some background, Alyssa hails from Annapolis, MD but is now based in Nashville and her voice will feature in a forthcoming Kevin Costner tv series "Horizon: An American Saga,"


The opening to "Under The Influence" is dominated by crisp drumbeat and guitar while a second one somewhat mournfully wails in the background. As Alyssa comes in, her voice is a little downbeat and she wastes little time in letting us know why. The title of the song is of course a play on words and as we initially find Alyssa driving in her car - it is not alcohol that is the root cause of her issues.



"Well I've been driving - a little too close to the lines

I can't stop crying, I shouldn't be on this road tonight

I play that song over and over,

Imagine your arm on my shoulder

So I keep driving under the influence....."


Alyssa's hovers over the word "Influence", letting it elongate before she uses a classic songwriting trick of lyrically leading into the chorus, as a continuation from the verse. It also signals a change in sound, as a veritable explosion of sound kicks in, with the drum and guitars raising their volume considerably matching Alyssa's equally louder vocals.


"Of you and every memory sitting passenger side

And the way you used to kiss me at every traffic light

Yeah you messed me up

Even though I ain’t drunk I’ve been swerving ever since

So I keep driving

Driving under the influence - of you"


Personally he sounds a little annoying, especially in heavy traffic permanently reaching over however we'll gloss over that. The chorus provides the answer behind the meaning of the title, making the point of how both can affect a persons ability to concentrate properly


The second verse sees the sound reduce to previous levels as it reinforces the nature of Alyssa's problem


"Two miles to your favorite bar

But that won't fix this

My head’s still spinning from a broken heart".


In a neat reversal of what happened earlier - Alyssa let's the second chorus lead into the bridge where her predicament is seemingly about to get worse.


"And me In that backseat

Now I’m going 80 in a 50

Red and blue in my rear view

They’d let me go if they only knew"


There's a further later play on words, alluding to the powers of alcohol but relating them to a broken hearted state of mind.


"I’m Hungover on us

Yeah I thought it was love

Now it’s something I can't quit

So I keep driving and driving

Driving under the influence - of you"



It's a neat snappy little debut single, low on gimmicks, high on quality, Alyssa does an excellent job of sounding distracted as she reflects back while driving forward and the lyrical and musical production on this track is abounding with ideas that suggest that there is much more to come from Alyssa.

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