JToday, Begonia—the solo project of alt-pop Canadian artist Alexa Dirks—unveils a new song, “Married By Elvis,” alongside a video directed by Ryan Steel; listen HERE. The track is taken from her second studio album, Powder Blue, set for release on February 24 via Birthday Cake Records; pre-save/pre-order HERE.
In celebration of the album, Begonia shares a Powder Blue album trailer that introduces teasers of every song on the record—featuring larger-than-life costumes, surrealistic imagery, hyperreal color and retro motel glamour; watch the album trailer HERE.
“This song started two years ago with a little guitar sample the guys of Deadmen played me during a writing session,” says Dirks. “I’ve always been fascinated by tribute artists, and I wanted to just be in an Elvis Tribute Artist club for a day. I held onto the idea for two years and then finally decided to make it happen with beautiful freak director Ryan Steel. We hired some of the top tribute artists in Western Canada and Ryan totally captured the earnestly absurd joy I was after. I don’t really believe in marriage and I’m not even really an Elvis fan, but I do believe love can make you do some strange things and that’s what this song is all about.”
“Married By Elvis” follows recent singles “Cold Night” and “Right Here” which received critical acclaim from CBCWonderlandLine of Best FitIndie88Daily Star and Globe & Mail.
The album was written and produced by Begonia, Matt Peters and Matthew Schellenberg (Royal Canoe) with contributions from Jason Agel (Björk, Kelly Clarkson, Prince) and Joe LaPorta (FKA twigs, beabadoobee, Solange).
Of the album, Begonia says: “The name of this album needed to be something that encompasses all of the feelings that these songs give me when they are put together. When I listen to them as a unit, they send me back to the words, the color. To me, this album holds a muted nostalgia, musings on childhood, the complexities of new love, self-love, religion, virginity and sexuality. There’s an indulgence in emotional depth and pain yet also an indulgence in love and a poppy lightness —two sides I’ve always tried to balance. I feel like I let my guard down even more with this record and decided to not hold back on either end.”
In celebration of the new album, Begonia is set for a run of U.S. shows in select cities this spring. The dates include a performance at New York’s Mercury Lounge as well as further shows at Los Angeles Hotel Cafe, Nashville’s The BasementPortland’s Hawthorne Lounge and Seattle’s Sunset Tavern. More dates to be announced soon.
Powder Blue follows Begonia’s 2017 EP Lady In Mind and debut album Fear, released in 2019 to widespread critical praise. Fear received a nomination for Alternative Album of the Year at the 2019 Juno Awards and also earned Begonia a nod for Polaris Music Prize.
As Begonia, Alexa Dirks creates bold, surprising pop that is tempered with sensitivity and wisdom. In her music, Begonia leans hard into a sense of arrival. Whether it’s learning to come into her own or processing a brutal heartbreak, Dirks’ intimate lyrics and audacious sound allows for her audience to relate to the messiness of life with an honesty that is refreshing. Despite the turmoil from which it emerged, Powder Blue represents Dirks feeling settled by coming to terms with her past and present—from religious conflict, to exploring sexuality and managing mental health, the new album finds Dirks wresting with life’s thornier moments in more evocative ways.
Critical acclaim for Begonia…
“[Begonia] conjures charming vintage soul and lays on the richly layered choruses. But she’s also enormously distinct in her crystalline delivery, which pairs perfectly with songs about starting down doubt and anxiety.”NPR
“Begonia has one of Canada’s most extraordinary voices, and thankfully she uses it to obliterate misery from this world one live performance at a time.”Noisey
“[Powder Blue is] a riptide of emotional expression and dynamic production through which Dirks processes her journey of self-discovery, all propelled into the world by her strident, arresting vocals”The Line of Best Fit
“With a rich sound and unshakeable confidence, Canadian-born Begonia is a force to be reckoned with.” — Wonderland Magazine
“Is it too early to call Powder Blue a contender as one of the year’s best albums? We may only be in the early days of 2023, but Begonia, a.k.a. Alexa Dirks, has an undeniable gem on her hands.”  CBC Music
Album art photo credit: Calvin Lee Joseph, design credit: Jadyn Klassen
1. Chasing Every Sunrise
2. Heaven
3. Married By Elvis
4. Right Here
5. I’m Not Dying
6. Marigold
7. Butterfly
8. Cold Night
9. Crying
10. Bleeding Heart
11. The Only One
12. NYE2013
February 23—Kitchener, ON—The Museum
February 24—Toronto, ON—The Great Hall
February 25—Hamilton, ON—Mills Hardware
February 28—Ottawa, ON—Club SAW
March 1—Montreal, QC—Bar Le Ritz
March 2—New York City, NY—Mercury Lounge
March 4—Harrisburg, PA—Stage on Herr @ Harrisburg Midtown Arts Center
March 5—Philadelphia, PA—Milkboy
March 7—Richmond, VA—Richmond Music Hall
March 9—Charlotte, NC—Evening Muse
March 10—Nashville, TN—The Basement
March 15—Austin, TX—SXSW Festival
March 16—Austin, TX—SXSW Festival
March 18—Oklahoma City, OK—Beer City Music Hall
March 19—Hot Springs, AR—Valley of Vapors Festival
April 11—Chicago, IL—Schuba’s
April 13—Detroit, MI—Parliament Room at Otis Supply
April 16—Pittsburgh, PA—Club Cafe
April 18—Columbus, OH—Rumba Cafe
April 20—Milwaukee, WI—Shank Hall
May 2—Denver, CO—Globe Hall
May 3—Salt Lake City, UT—Kilby Court
May 8—San Diego, CA—Soda Bar
May 10—Los Angeles, CA—Hotel Cafe
May 11—Sacramento, CA—Scarlet Room
May 12—San Francisco, CA— Amado’s
May 16—Bend, OR—Volcanic Lounge
May 18—Portland, OR—Hawthorne Lounge
May 19—Seattle, WA—The Sunset Tavern


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