Sunday, June 06, 2021

I’d trust my heart with Alex Deems after hearing his latest EP ‘A Stranger To Trust’

Alexander Deems Spagnolia, a Philadelphia-based musician is as versatile as they come, a singer, songwriter, animator, and performer his music is an enjambement of indie, and electric-rock sounds.

Although his interest in music began at age eleven, it was thanks to a Foo Fighters concert in 2015 that inspired Alex to take his music seriously, leading to being signed by Elton Audio Records in July 2020.

The singer explained that “People are unreliable and dodgy, but music will always have time with you” which I believe sets the tone for his new EP ‘A Stranger To Trust’ which is an emotional rollercoaster that takes a deep dive into the human condition.

’Open up’ is unlike any sound of the indie genre. With techno and electric undertones, a guitar finish and emotionally resonating lyrics like “Am I enough for you?” or “Sing me lies or sweet goodbyes”, the opening sets a high bar of brilliance for the rest of the EP. The electronic mix with indie beats not only adds a layer to the music but focuses the listener on his unique voice, luring you into a trance. 

The second track of the EP ‘fine’ is irony at its finest, throwing generation Z’s overuse of the retort “I’m fine” back in their faces. “I’m fine/yeah I’m fine/everything will be alright” the paradox is not lost.

 Deems seems to enjoy the power of play on words as ‘A Stranger To Trust’ is about deeply complicated and emotional relationships with yourself and others. The song ‘fine’ explores the toll pretending to be okay can take especially when really “it’s not the same”, a more pop-inspired sound

The unique way Deems mixes sounds and words is highlighted in his tune ‘much to say’ which is similar to a spoken poem. The rhyming scheme and vocal emphasis on the last word of each line create the rhythm of the melody. Sonically he is building a circular beat to the song using words that quickly becomes addictive and catchy. Coupled with lyrics that make you feel understood like “Can I stay the night and pretend it’s alright”, there is no way you won’t be listening to the track on repeat!

The next track, ‘gentle giant’ is just that, gentle, with whispered lyrics and a repeated beat that entices you in. A pause in the middle hooks listeners as the first audible lyrics are pronounced “I can’t do this to you” and then the instrumentals pick back up leading to an emotional gut-punch as a light melancholic aura descends. 

much to say’, easy listening to addictive sounds with hints of anger coupled to the edgier beats portrays just that. “Tell me reasons that you hate me” and “pretend everything is alright” reflect how toxic and emotionally draining a modern romance can be.

The EP concludes with ‘for good’, a distinct sound compared to the rest of the EP with higher levels of electronic beats yet also an edge rock undertone to accompany the vocals. It is a goodbye to a lover, hoping they understand that “nothing lasts forever” and encouraging them to move on. On a recent Instagram questionnaire, Alex explains that “The main goal was to make an indie-pop EP, but I had to have a rock song at the end. I wanted a big finale, and this song was the most intense of the bunch” 

Alex has delivered us with a masterpiece of an array of sounds and genres he has molded together harmoniously. Although he is only starting out ‘A Stranger to Trust’ has set a high standard for all his future work, as his futuristic indie chill tracks promise to strike a chord with listeners.

Zarina Dempsey


Image: Sophia Zucker ( @sophiazuckerphotography) 

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