They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but for the aspiring artist, it can also be the most viable path toward discovery. I'm talking, of course, about the art of covers, and its curious way of opening doors for talented vocalists, in the pursuit of releasing their own original material one day. One such door recently opened for Toronto's Alex Porat. She was featured in a Glamour Magazine video series "You Sang My Song" in 2018, where fellow Canadian Shawn Mendes reacts to her cover of his "In My Blood" single, alongside other notable cover artists. And from there, the ball simply kept on rolling, all the way up to the release of her debut single "only hanging out cause i'm lonely", out today.
As a cover artist, Porat's vocal talents are undeniable. As a solo artist, they become something else entirely. No longer driving the song on their own, they feel free to explore, wane when they need to express boredom, and tighten when the lyrics call for it. Still, her voice feels warm and familiar, traversing the percussive pop soundscape with veteran ease.
"only hanging out cause i'm lonely" disguises itself as a clean-cut pop song with a trap beat for a rebellious streak. But it quickly devolves further with a distorted bridge, the electronic production filling up with nuanced reverbs and washed out drum kicks. A fitting background for the confessional storyline that takes feelings out of dating. "Our dependency on technology isolates us and makes us crave companionship, sometimes for the wrong reasons," she explains. "[This track] was written about that struggle. Shoutout to all the guys I dated for way too long for the sake of dating. This one's for you."