Artist Interview / Album Review: Alicia Blue – ‘Inner Child Work Pt. 2’

Posted: by The Editor

Alicia Blue’s highly anticipated second installment of her Inner Child Work project just dropped through Magnetic Moon Records. Written throughout a journey of change as she relocates to Nashville after being raised in Los Angeles, the two EPs follow her as she sifts through a wheel of emotions documenting conversations about self-reflection, navigating mental health, and finding a sense of balance and resolution as she embarks on a new chapter. 

The way the project is sonically set up allows the listener to experience the flecks of film behind Blue’s eyes as she grows at her own pace. For example, the new EP’s opener “Best Hands” begins with haunting guitars and Blue’s entrancing vocals before opening itself to a tangy pop chorus that leaps and bounds through one’s speakers. It’s the perfect song to lay the record’s foundation as well as set the tone of jittery optimism after cracking a hardened identity. It bleeds into “Picasso Blue” which is submerged in the grit of ’90s garage rock while still composing itself among lyrical attitude. “Young” takes a short detour in the album’s journey by utilizing softer elements. This creates a delicate environment where she touches on society’s obsession with youthful beauty instead of normalizing the beauty of growing older. The Civil Wars’ John Paul White features on this track, and it gives it a ghostly, serene feel. 

We’re thrown back into the passenger seat, though, with the feverish heat of “I Want It Faster.” The punk-tinted tune works as a carousel of change as the lines between rock, pop, and punk blur. It feels like the peak of emotional release that had been brewing from the record’s start. Yet the twilight of the record’s closer “Believer” brings the sonic world Alicia Blue has laid out for the listener to rest. As a track, “Believer” works somewhere between sleeping and awake. The darker undertones at work tether Blue’s airy vocals to a hopefulness at the end of a long journey. It represents a dawn amongst the confusion and cynicism the brain and life creates, leaving the listener in a liminal space long after it ends.

Alicia Blue’s Inner Child Work, Pt. 2 shows Blue at the height of her sonic and lyrical mind. The performances and creativity condensed into five tracks builds an intimate world that mirrors the ever shifting emotions and thoughts that take place when uprooting one’s life to start somewhere new. Being able to finally listen to Alicia Blue’s Inner Child Work project in full brings a deeper sense of humanity and texture to what being alive feels like. There’s a beginning. There’s an end. But, throughout the black and white frames of life, there’s still so much gray to experience. 

I had the pleasure of picking Alicia Blue’s brain further about the project. 

How does it feel to be releasing the second and final part of the Inner Child Work project?  

To be honestm it feels amazing to finally have this album out in the world in its completion. It’s been a long time coming, and I’m grateful that it’s here. 

Are there different emotions associated with Part 2’s release than there was for the Part 1 release?

I’d say yes, for sure. Each song is a different sort of storm that finds its sun, and eventually the dust settles on all of them. Part 2 definitely has more settling, more resolution. Tracks like “Believer” and “Picasso Blue” do for sure. Sort of the grand finale. 

When you listen to both parts, there’s a sense of catharsis felt as the listener almost works through the themes of the album with you. What was the journey like from idea to creation to build such a personal record?

It was song by song. Each one is a world of its own, nursing whatever history it needed to. “Dog Days in LA” nursed the turbulent time I spent in the city, whereas “Best Hands” was an amalgam of the many faces I’d given myself away to over the years. A composite of failing to stay with myself. Then ultimately, learning to have your own fucking back at all costs. 

Why was it that you decided to break the project into two segments? 

It felt like there was a chapter one sort of flavor with the first batch of songs, an introduction sort of energy–like here’s the first part of the story. I’m taking my time, and will meet you back here soon for the second half. Part 2 seemed to wrap everything up

I understand you worked with both Lincoln Parish and Bre Kennedy for the Inner Child Work EPs. How was that experience? What influences did they bring to the project?

 Lincoln was my producer, co-writer and partner on all of it. I loved working with Lincoln, he’s a straight shooter and we don’t need to say much when we work together. It all just goes into the songs. His indie and alternative history gave me permission to make bigger sounding songs, which was great, because I needed them for the lyrics I was writing. Bre wrote “Don’t Tell Me to Smile” with me. She’s an incredible writer, with an uncanny ability to channel. She’s got the pop sensibility anyone would want if they were looking for that. 

You departed the Americana sound that your previous works have been drenched in to explore more indie rock territory with these EPs. What is it that gravitated you to indie rock? Was it in how the genre is able to evoke so much emotion?

Yes to your last question, and circling back to Lincoln being a huge collaborator, the history he had with Cage the Elephant is no joke. It all shows up in the album. Which is exactly why I brought him in. My content was ready for the bigness.  

Across both installments, which song was your favorite to record? 

“Young.” Three takes and it was done.

What do you hope listeners take away from the second EP or even the EPs as a whole?

I hope it helps them as much as it helped me. If it feels friendly to the parts of people that don’t get much air time, I’ve done my job. 

Emotions that describe Inner Child Work, Pt. 2 

Steadfast and devoted.

Inner Child Work, Pt. 2 is out now.


Hope Ankney | @hope_ankleknee

The Alternative is ad-free and 100% supported by our readers. If you’d like to help us produce more content and promote more great new music, please consider donating to our Patreon page, which also allows you to receive sweet perks like free albums and The Alternative merch.