Alutepena Hughes-John is a UK based singer-songwriter who has dabbled in and out of music throughout her life starting at the age of eight. She performs live gigs with the ukelele and is endearingly referred to as the “Lady with the Uke” in music circles. She has been releasing music since 2017 and has built up an extensive discography with her latest single “Platonic” exploring the experience of unrequited love.

“Platonic” starts off very cheery, heavily featuring the ukelele with short, staccato-esque strumming patterns. The bass guitar that runs in the background is well written while the minor tunes take the track in dark directions you would not expect a song with the ukelele to go. The percussion is heavy without being overpowered by bass and the rhythmic synth adds to the upbeat energy of the single.

Alutepena Hughes-John’s vocal performance is husky with opera-like inflections at times. Her monotone spoken word performance on the bridge along with angelic background vocals are particularly impressive. The instrumentation on the track overall leaves us with a vintage experience.

The writing on “Platonic” is very vulnerable. Lyrically the track explores the feelings of confusion and sadness that come along when love is not reciprocated. The inability to confess what is in one’s heart for the fear of being perceived as silly or with pity and the feelings of second-guessing and being unsure while having a crush are laid bare. The exasperation of being seen as “just a mate” and how one can see a relationship so differently from the other are put across very honestly.

Alutepena Hughes-John is a powerful vocalist with touching songwriting skills! I look forward to all the work she has coming our way.