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First Play: Vissia, Place Holder

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Andrea Gin

Even though Edmonton-based singer-songwriter Alex Vissia has spent most of her life as a musician and performer, in many ways, her new album Place Holder represents a brand new start.

She began playing with her sisters in 2000, and the young pop-folk/country trio enjoyed a successful run as the Vissia Sisters, playing the Edmonton Folk Music Festival, the Vancouver Olympics, and earning two nominations at the Canadian Folk Music Awards. In 2011, she decided to strike out on her own.

That year, she released a debut called A Lot Less Gold, and followed it up with Young Love in 2013. She is now ready to release her third solo album, and her first under the shortened name of Vissia. The songs on Place Holder span Americana, folk, and indie rock, and the powerhouse singer feels like they serve audio snapshots of her life.

“Each song on Place Holder is a different creature," she says via press release. “I didn't want to follow any formula or rules. The album took four years to write and each song holds a meaningful moment or place from that time.”

She says the album’s title is a reference to how a song can be a stand-in for the unspoken bond that exists between people.

“[The songs are] partly about the emotional subtleties between people. I am notorious for my lack of openness about how I feel, face-to-face, but my songwriting is lyrically driven, and I feel I can place my trust there.”

Vissia will be releasing Place Holder on her own new label, Hurry Hard, which she recently started with fellow Edmonton musician Nich Davies. This time around, armed with a new label, new album and new performing name, the veteran singer feels like she’s breaking new ground.

“In some ways this feels like my first record."

Place Holder will be released on Nov. 10. Pre-order it here. Vissia will be on tour in Eastern Canada in November. Find her tour dates here.