Aleana | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Philly vocalist Aleana has just released her EP Chapter 22. The EP chronicles the beginning and the end of a romantic relationship, as Aleana sings through emotions from sprung to completely over it. I immediately noticed her vocals, which have a clean and real quality to them. She’s not too flashy a singer, and her voice isn’t buried in effects and plugins, which makes the music more relatable.

Some standout tracks from the EP are “Divine Creatures,” “Dear Darla,” and “Careless.” “Divine Creatures” probably has the best vocal performance on the whole project; the emotion of the song is clear and evident in the vocals as well as the lyrics. The fade out at the end of the song is an interesting choice as it emphasizes the romance of the song by implying that she could go on and on forever about how great love is.

Next is “Dear Darla,” which arrives at the point of the record at which the story starts to detail the end of the relationship. While listening to this song, the frustration is very relatable and almost tangible. Aleana works through her emotions in the song, and it becomes clearer about half way through that this is a song of regret and disappointment.

My personal favorite track, “Careless,” is where the regret transitions into anger and nonchalance. The very first line, “I almost set your crib on fire” put me immediately in my bag, and reminded me to delete someone’s number. This song is full of lyrics that hit you in the gut because they’re that real. Lyrically, it’s the strongest of the whole record.

The Chapter 22 EP is a solid piece of contemporary R&B. Aleana flexes her vocal ability in a way that’s not flashy or abrasive. The production on the record seems more focused on building the atmosphere of the song, which puts the lyrics in the most important part: the lyrics and the vocals which is what really makes the project great. The lyrics are straightforward in a way that puts the listener into the situation, making it clear and relatable.

Aleana will be performing at he Fireside Sessions at Blue Cross RiverRink on Thursday. More information on that performance here. She also will appear on the WXPN Local Show tonight, to play a few songs acoustic for The Key Studio Sessions.

Listen to Chapter 22 down below.