Life gives me shit and my shit gonna give it right back / Sweet, sweet destiny / Sweet, sweet destiny / You’ll never be my enemy – these are the words of someone who has claimed back their narrative and released it into the world in all its unruly, powerful glory. That someone is Aluna, whose solo debut “Renaissance” is her own contribution to the Black renaissance she felt blossoming around her, a nod to the black voices who were wrongly left out of the narrative that is dance music as we know it. Now out in the world, the album is a piece of Aluna’s story to be absorbed by listeners and creators alike, reminding them they too can hold their own and go against expectations.
Aluna has always been iconic in my book – she was one of the first electronic vocalists I personally was introduced to – and “Renaissance” takes that confident energy and places it in a musical world where Aluna makes the rules, no verification from others needed. These are full-on, dance-across-the-floor tracks, the kind that you remember in a blur of foggy lights and kind strangers turned dance partners. Exuding both power and humility at the same time, songs like “Ain’t My Business” carry crave-worthy synths, while the lyrics carry honest messages of internal contemplation and deep feelings of caring. If you can close your eyes and start to sway and escape into a sea of bodies moving, good – “Renaissance” is an album that uplifts feel-good, healing movement, acting as the soundtrack to a future of more safety and inclusion in dance music.
Whether it’s breaking it down on the dance-floor or breaking down barriers, Aluna is unabashedly herself and releasing art that tells audiences your story is worth claiming. As she wrote on Instagram on release day – “Use [Renaissance] wisely my friends, let it be your open door to a world where you make the rules.”