“The X Factor” newest sensation


Boyfriend-girlfriend duo makes waves in the music scene
By Amanda Kochanowski
Staff Writer

Pop duo Alex & Sierra debuted on the third season of “The X Factor USA” in 2013. The couple, Alex Kinsey and Sierra Deaton, from Florida, both in their early twenties, had huge success gaining many fans on the reality show. While both are great singers, Sierra seems to be the lead vocalist with Alex playing guitar in many of their performances.

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Prior to their reality show debut, the couple posted cover videos on YouTube. Casual performances include “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” made famous by Johnny Mercer and Margaret Whiting, “Come and Get It” by Selena Gomez and “If I Didn’t Know Better” by The Civil Wars. Their most popular video was a jazzy, swing-style cover of Taylor Swift’s hit “I Knew You Were Trouble.” The video has over one million views.

The couple auditioned for “The X Factor USA” in New Orleans, Louisiana, and sang a slow, sultry cover of Britney Spears’ “Toxic.” The judges were impressed, and the duo moved onto the next round.

“The X Factor USA” was an amazing way to show off Alex & Sierra’s talent. The chemistry between the two was clear, and they had extremely unique performances. Each song they sang was vastly different from the original artist’s performance, with new original style from the duo. Alex & Sierra’s specialty seemed to be slow, acoustic covers of songs, so they continued this trend with “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke, “I Heard It Through The Grape Vine” by Marvin Gaye and “Best Song Ever” by British pop band One Direction.

As the deserved winners of the reality show, Alex & Sierra’s career is sure to be a huge success. They released their first album on Oct. 7 under Columbia Records. The record, entitled “It’s About Us,” includes 13 original songs. The duo wrote nine of the 13 songs off the album, accompanied by Jason Mraz as a co-writer for one of the songs, “Its About Us (Interlude).”

Alex & Sierra released a video of their lead single, “Scarecrow,” this summer July 11. “Scarecrow” is a fast-paced, exciting song. Even though the duo is considered pop, the single manages to be different from others before it with the use of acoustic guitar that makes it softer than most. This acoustic guitar gives a folk sound, similar to the sound of the popular band Of Monsters and Men. The song is a great sing-along tune with a message that will touch listeners’ hearts, with lyrics that say, “You’re standing like a scarecrow, and I’m begging you to speak… I just want to believe in you and me.”

Another single released before the album was “Bumper Cars.” The song showed off what seems to be the couple’s signature style. It is a ballad with a piano accompaniment. The lyrics also carry the message of love, much like the rest of the album.

With a small touch of indie-rock, the duo’s sound compares to that of The Lumineers. Fans will be excited to finally hear original songs from the duo instead of covers. However, one disappointing factor is the lack of Kinsey’s use of vocal range. He proved on “The X Factor USA” that he can hit some extremely high notes, but it is barely evident on their recent record.

Overall, the album is entertaining and has notable instrumentals. Other popular songs off the album include “Little Do You Know” and “Just Kids.” Alex & Sierra’s debut album “It’s About Us” is available to purchase on iTunes. To find out more about the band, visit http://www.alexandsierraofficial.com.