Single Review: Alexia Gardner finds new meaning in her cover of soul classic ‘Stand By Me.’

With her latest album, Feeling the Love, Songs of My Mother, Songs of My Father, Alexia has reinterpreted some canonical songs from music history that have meant the most to her.

British-Jamaican singer Alexia Gardner and her band, with Hyuna Park on piano, Martin Pizzarelli on bass, George Gray on drums, and Linus Wyrsch on tenor saxophone, have shared ‘Stand By Me,’ the latest single from her new album, Feeling the Love, Songs of My Mother, Songs of My Father.

Alexia, a prominent face on the international music scene for over two decades, is best known for her striking voice. As an artist, Alexia emerged in her teens when she toured with the British Cabaret Circuit in England and Wales. At that point, she performed alongside her sister Paula, working under the name ‘High Profile.’ The duo’s incredible harmonies earned them widespread acclaim.

Alexia’s career has taken her to many other incredible places over the last few decades. From performing in luxury hotels in Asia to performing on luxury cruise liners in various continents, to singing in front of Heads of State, to living all over the world in places like New York City, Shanghai, and Switzerland – her journey has been wide-ranging. 

Often, Alexia’s studio albums and live recorded albums have become something like check-point posts, allowing Alexia to mark different points on her life journey. Her 2011 album A Little Closer focused on the joys and upheavals of a life spent constantly moving, going from place to place, city to city. 

In many ways, Feeling the Love, Songs of My Mother, Songs of My Father can be called a reflective album. The songs on this album are drawn from all genres and areas of musical history. The connection between them all appears entirely personal to the artist, with Alexia hinting in the album’s title that she’s chosen them purely because they’re songs that her mother, her father, or herself has “love” for. This makes the listening experience rewarding in and of itself – as the listener is always trying to find the emotional connection between the singer’s vocals and the lyrics being sung. 

In her cover of Ben E. King’s ‘Stand By Me,’ Alexia sounds like she’s offering an important message here – it’s a song from herself to herself. She sings lines like: “I won’t cry, I won’t shed a tear” as if she’s trying to find the resolve to make these lines true to herself. This intensely personal way of singing is not lost on the listener. 

Elsewhere, the arrangement and production on this song – and the album as a whole – are pitch-perfect. Alexia is always at her best when it sounds like her songs are coming straight from a jazz club – precisely how it is here. The band is on point; the singer is on point. What more could you ask for? 

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