This duo recalls two very different artists of the 1970s.
Her vocals kindle memories of Phoebe Snow, the soulful singer of “Poetry Man.” He echoes Elvis Costello in his early angry young man stage.
Together, they are Aline & Wes.
Aline Vida and Wes Speight, a rock duo from Seattle, joined forces last year to make music that addresses issues such as homelessness, racism and inequality. They will perform for KSER-FM in Everett, on the radio and live at Sno-Isle Food Co-Op to celebrate their debut EP, “Lavender Lemonade,” which will be released Friday.
Vida, 43, has sung rock, blues, jazz and rhythm and blues in clubs for more than a decade. She cut three EPs and LPs, and the hit TV series “Justified” featured her song, “Secrets and Lies,” in a 2015 episode.
Speight, 37, is a singer-songwriter who goes by Wes Sp8. He was the frontman of blues-punk trio Wes Sp8 & the Apollo Proxy, which has released four albums of Americana, blues and rock music.
The two met while playing gigs in Seattle. Vida, who lived in Everett from 2013 to 2015, remembers watching Spreight play with his former band.
“I would be hearing harmonies in my head when he was singing,” she said. “I normally don’t hear harmonies, but I was so moved by it. I always visualized we were going to work together.”
Their performances drew the comparisons to Phoebe Snow and Elvis Costello from KSER host Ron Taffi. Listeners will hear Aline & Wes at 1 p.m. Nov. 14 and 7:15 p.m. Nov. 19. They will perform live at 6 p.m. Nov. 20 at Sno-Isle Food Co-Op in Everett for KSER’s monthly concert series.
It took them four months to write and record the four songs on “Lavender Lemonade,” which features both of their vocals, and Speight on guitar, piano, synthesizer, drums and bass.
Speight said his instrumentation carries the intensity for the duo, while Vida’s voice cuts through with melodic vibrato.
“We’re a balance,” he said. “If you have two people who are equally as intense, that can possibly lead to it being overwhelming.”
The title of the EP was derived from “The Color Purple,” Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. Vida said the novel, about an African-American woman’s life in the 1930s Jim Crow South, told through her letters to God, also inspired the music.
“It’s that idea that no matter what happens in life, you can make some good from it,” she said.
The four songs comment on personal struggles, social transformation and identity through thought-provoking lyrics. The duo’s song, “Work Is Never Done,” epitomizes an uphill struggle that is close to home: homelessness.
Homelessness is rampant in Seattle. But rather than bash on the system, they said the song is about pressing on to find positive solutions, even in the face of insurmountable odds.
“You can’t avoid (homelessness),” Vida said. “It’s everywhere. You can’t help but be inspired or moved by it. As artists, we’re on the forefront. We’re a voice for things that we may or may not like. We can have an impact through our music.”
Evan Thompson: 425-339-3427, firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @ByEvanThompson.
If you go
Aline & Wes will perform live at 6 p.m. Nov. 20 at Sno-Isle Food Co-Op, 2804 Grand Ave., Everett. The concert is part of KSER-FM’s monthly concert series, every third Wednesday, at the co-op. Or tune in to the radio station 1 p.m. Nov. 14 and 7:15 p.m. Nov. 19 to hear Aline & Wes on the air. More at www.alineandwes.com.