Single Review: Alexia Gardner brings new warmth to the classic track ‘Miss Celie’s Blues,’ the latest single from her new album. 

On her brand-new album, Feeling the Love, Songs of My Mother, Songs of My Father, British Jamaican singer Alexia Gardner has shared a collection of timely covers. Her latest single, ‘Miss Celie’s Blues,’ offers a new take on this abiding American classic.

Alexia Gardner has shared ‘Miss Celie’s Blues,’ the latest cover song from her new album, Feeling the Love, Songs of My Mother, and Songs of My Father. 

Gardner’s new album, released in 2023, sees the artist reimagining ten songs from the past that have meant a lot to her personally; these songs are also notable for being influential on various genres, like jazz, soul, gospel, and pop. 

The new album comes as Alexia maintains her position as a leading force in the music world. Having performed worldwide and shared her music in some extraordinary places – from cruise ship liners to the halls of luxury hotels – Alexia rose to become one of the UK’s most acclaimed performers during the last 20 years. Critics and fans have agreed that her longevity is down to many things, but she has won praise for her commanding, captivating, breathtaking voice. 

Alexia has shared three albums to date, including two live albums. Feeling the Love, Songs of My Mother, and Songs of My Father mark Alexia’s first new album since 2011. 

The announcement of its release was met with excitement from the artist’s long-standing fanbase. And for good reason, too. Alexia Gardner’s new album is an exciting achievement; each song reinterpretation here offers something original for listeners. 

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From Left to Right: Paula Gardner, Alexia Gardner

Gardner uses her voice to bring new life to songs initially made famous by artists like Billie Holiday, Lauryn Hill, Sarah Vaughan, and Cilla Black. With each song on this album, she imbues the lyrics and the melodies with personality, too. As she records the likes of ‘God Bless The Child,’ ‘Stand By Me,’ and ‘Forever Young,’ she asks the listener to consider why she might have chosen these tracks – and what they might mean to her personally. 

Alexia Gardner’s take on ‘Miss Celie’s Blues’ is breathy and bright but forceful in its impact. The song hails from Steven Spielberg’s adaption of The Color Purple, with the lyrics and music written by Quincy Jones and Rod Temperton, and it was originally sung in the film by vocalist Táta Vega. 

While the song has a particular place in the film and American cultural memory, Alexia doesn’t let the weight of this fact hold her back from going right ahead and making it her own. The artist makes the song unique by utilizing a tight, sophisticated, and understated arrangement; it’s no longer a film soundtrack song; it’s a hushed, sibilant jazz track from a jazz singer in complete control of her skills. 

Alexia Gardner continues to be excellent at what she does. 

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From Left to Right: Chris Sullit (Sound Engineer), Alexia Gardner (vocals), Linus Wyrsch (clarinet/ tenor sax)

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