2022 has started off strong for celebrated songwriter, producer, multi-instrumentalist Alyssa Bonagura, known for her work as a critically-acclaimed solo artist with an ongoing gig writing songs with Jesse James Decker, Aerosmith’s frontman Steven Tyler, and more. Bonagura’s digital track “Paper Airplane” follows the release of her rising radio hit “New Wings” and second track “Last Night in December.” These first three singles off her upcoming album have already made waves, landing her on numerous streaming playlists including New Music Friday, New Music Daily, Fresh Finds Pop, Next from Nashville, CMT Next Women, Today’s Country, and more, and increased her total streams to over 5 million.
Billboard shared Alyssa’s latest release, “Paper Airplane,” saying, “what starts out as a tender piano ballad gets a wash of atmospheric, wistful pop, offering a solid foil for Bonagura’s sensual, intimate vocal.” The song opens with regret in how a relationship ended. I know it’s been a year since I talked to you / Once a lover and you’re now a stranger / I hate that the last thing I said to you / Was sent out of hurt and anger / I’ve been taking this time for my healing / Cause I hear you in every song / Showing up in my dreams in the evening / Still don’t know where we went wrong,” she sings. And the poetic track continues with imagery comparing the turmoil of an unsafe relationship with flying a paper airplane. Took a ride in your paper airplane / It flew too close to the fire / Put our trust in the folded wings / Thought the wind was gonna take it higher / You never know when the heat of a moment could go up in flames / But we were never gonna make it in a paper airplane. The single highlights Bonagura’s songwriting prowess and offers listeners the perfect, melodic post-breakup song to put on repeat.
“Paper airplanes are made and flown with the best intentions, but you never know whether they are going to take flight, or crash to the ground. I wanted to use this imagery to describe a relationship that felt unsafe to me,” Alyssa shared about the song. “I had started writing this song and just couldn’t finish it on my own and one night during the lockdown, I was chatting with my friend Scott Mulvahill and asked him if he would help me complete it. In about 20 mins the song was finished over the phone with a hook line that hit straight to my heart that said, “We were never gonna make it in a paper airplane.” This song has brought me so much healing and given me great perspective on relationships, and I hope it can bring healing to someone who’s been through a similar scenario.”
Bonagura has made a stunning musical statement with the first three tracks (“Paper Airplane,” “New Wings,” and “Last Night in December”) off her upcoming album release. It’s a fresh sound that continues to mix her southern storytelling with cinematic ambiance and is full of acoustic warmth. She credits the incredible musical community she’s surrounded herself with and one of her musical heroes, Chris Martin of Coldplay, for bringing a new dynamic to her songwriting and production.
“During the pandemic, I did a lot of Instagram lives because I wanted to connect with my fans and see how they were doing during the pandemic,” says Bonagura. “I would play these songs and productions I was working and one night Tom Jordan from the band Seaforth was watching and texted me saying, ‘Mate… What is that song ‘Paper Airplane!?’ I told him I had just finished writing it and was creating a production inspired by a life-changing music production conversation I had right before the pandemic with Chris Martin of Coldplay. Tom asked if he and our insanely talented friend Davis Naish could help me finish it, which I of course said yes to and we finished it in a couple of weeks. They brought it to life in a way I couldn’t have on my own.”
Bonagura has released a music video to accompany “Paper Airplane,” which features animation by Seen Films.
“Over the years I have been so moved by animated music videos. Sometimes for me, an animated story can evoke so much more emotion than a real-life video and that was my vision for “Paper Airplane.” I wanted the video to have a whimsical, magical feeling to it and so I was honored to work with Seen Films in Italy and be able to watch myself come alive in this paper world,” she adds. “Being alone in a barren desert and only catching the paper airplane to let it go was a metaphor for if you love something, set it free. If it’s meant to be, it’ll come back to you.”
Photo courtesy Richlynn Group