Fresh of The Boat: The 3 times when my life turns into an Alexander 23 song


Photo Credit: Ones to Watch

Yen Dang

Hailing from Chicago, Illinois, Alexander 23 breaks through the conventional impression of the burgeoning bedroom-pop movement, which is often believed to be made up these kids pushing random keys on their pianos and putting sample beats on loops, and sets himself apart by creating music that has a little bit of everything, from drums, guitar, piano, trap beats to his effortlessly soothing falsettos and vocals.

Officially establishing himself as a full-time singer-songwriter and part-time self-certified hopeless romantic, Alexander writes and sings songs that are straight out from his real-life relationships. He never narrows down on his focus but frees himself and waltz around all these different territories, different stages, and different emotions of love. In other words, Alexander understands the variations of love and embraces them to create songs that just instantly “gets” his audience, including myself.

And, ladies and gentlemen, I present you the 3 times when my life turns into an Alexander 23 song.

Alexander 23
Photo Credit: Fashionably Early

“Sad” is probably one of the most anticipated tracks by Alexander 23 in his latest album “I’m Sorry I Love You” because it has been performed live in many shows but there was never an official release until this album is dropped. Alexander definitely loves playing with the idea of contradiction in this song because “Sad” definitely sounds too happy, too catchy, and too laid-back for him to tell such a depressing love story yet somehow, everything just winds up together perfectly. Over the tickling and chalky beats, “Sad” talks about the powerlessness that one person is stuck with while standing in front of a relationship where the other person is just too caught up in their own personal issues and distractions that it seems like there is nothing they can do to make the other happy or give them any attention in return. “I’m just a Band-Aid on a broken heart” is that one line which perhaps makes “Sad” hits differently for me because I’m sure that at least one of us have once tried to or have offered a chance to make someone broken happy but nothing ever works out because sometimes, your Band-Aid is not meant to fix that person.

Different from “Sad”, Alexander 23 writes “See You Later” while keeping it true to its nature as a sad love song. He has made “See You Later” so charming to the ears by building the song from the uplifting guitar licks and poignant and nostalgic acoustic sounds. Undeniably, it tugs all the right strings of being in that moment where you have to say goodbye to someone who you have learned to love so deeply just because you are afraid of hurting them if things are too continue. In “See You Later”, Alexander emphasizes the capability of memories to bring all the deepest emotions and marks to the light, and there is really no way for you to stop hurting or missing them aside from going through it all and getting over it at the end. There is also something that I specifically love about “See You Later” is that the song has never been only about breaking up with someone but it is also about appreciating the little thing, lingering on the past memories, and loving someone too much to stay with them.

Alexander 23
Photo Credit: Ones to Watch

And yet, “The Internet” is probably one of the tracks in his album that has really left an impression on me the most because first, it is one of the two songs in the album that aren’t about love, and second, it really takes me back to the time around the summer before I left for college when I just really lost grip on who I was as I was going through all sort of transitions in my life. And, Alexander 23 effortlessly captures the exact state of constant confusion and frustration that I was feeling of being stuck between becoming my own self and becoming who others want me to be. Indeed, it is hard to tell between the two, especially when we are living in the time where everything about our lives can be easily put online for hundreds and thousands of people to see. Sometimes, you just can’t help it but feel out of place or scared or lost underneath the overexposure but in exchange, it challenges you to work harder to find yourself and to really embrace yourself eventually.