Alexander 23 has just released his much anticipated EP Oh No, Not Again!, a collection of nine emotional songs that showcase the singer and songwriter’s incredible narrative melodies. Oh No, Not Again! plays like a movie with each song melding into the next. When asked about the album, the singer said that “it chronicles the life span of a relationship from yearning for someone, to finding someone, to there being some turmoil, to maybe it not working out, to trying to recover, and then to finally moving on.” Though he did not initially intend to make an EP, he also stated that it “became increasing clear over the writing process… these songs belong together”.
The first song “IDK You Yet” is already certified gold thanks to its viral status on the app TikTok. The tune seems simple but has a subtle, artful complexity about it as he sings longingly over a simple guitar melody and decorative harmonies. “Cry Over Boys” is a matter of fact tune with similar acoustic elements, while “Brainstorm” changes the tone with light piano and electric guitar instrumentation and a beat that brings out a different side of the singer’s relaxed, textured voice. “Nothing’s the Same” returns to the acoustic harmonies and features Jeremy Zucker. “She Loves Me” stands out with its bluesy elements and honest, no hold barred lyrics and “Good to See You Again” continues the story of the inevitable end of a relationship. “Track 9” closes the chapter with a sweet, nostalgic look to the past.
Each track of Oh No, Not Again! is a standalone triumph, but together they create a masterpiece of an EP. With his incredibly honest lyrics, beautifully serene voice, and talent for crafting a song that will speak right to your soul, you’ll have this album on repeat again and again.
Written by Katrina Charles
Press Q&A with Alexander 23
Q (Vents Magazine): For fans that have been eagerly awaiting this EP drop, what can you tell us about the process of putting together creatively, the trials, hardships, and even fun moments that you endured while crafting the album?
Alexander 23: I think for me what was kind of exciting about this EP specifically was that it was almost like an accident. I didn’t set out to write an EP at the very beginning, and then it kind of became increasing clear over the writing process over the last year since “IDK You Yet” that, oh these songs belong together in a way – and then it kind of became a fun challenge of how do I really tie this together and communicate the them that I’m trying to communicate.
It’s called “Oh No Not Again”, and for me it chronicles the life span of a relationship from yearning for someone, to finding someone, to there being some turmoil, to maybe it not working out, to trying to recover, and then to finally moving on. It’s a pattern that I’ve definitely seen in my own life of just getting into my own cycle of having that happen over and over and making the same mistakes over and over. So “Oh No Not Again” kind of felt like a nice light-hearted way of saying like, “why the f*** am I like this, you know.”
Q (Humankind Zine): What advice would you give to artists that are in that middle ground deciding if they should pursue their passion full time?
Alexander 23: I feel like there’s this story/thought of don’t be an artist unless you absolutely need to be. And I definitely believe in aspects of that, but I never fully connected with that because I did have other interests that I really liked and I like going to school and I was studying engineer, and I think there’s a version of me that’s an engineer and is living some semblance of a happy life. But for me it just came down to what’s going to give me the most fulfillment, like what’s going to make me the happiest, and it became increasingly clear that only music was going to really fully satisfy that itch to be my own person and express myself however I wanted. So yeah I would say, just as Kacey Musgraves says, ‘follow your arrow’.
Q (The MouthSoap): Before you became a solo artist you were in a few bands, so how did you transition from being in bands to a solo artist?
Alexander 23: When I dropped out of college and was playing in a band, it kind of felt like college for music. I just learned a lot about the industry and what I wanted to sound like and be like, and it was honestly for me a really safe space for me to find my own voice both songwriting and production-wise and just everything music.
I’d say the biggest difference is that I think when you’re a solo artist, sometimes the highs are higher and the lows are lower. When you’re in a band it’s a little more comfortable because you have that diffusion of responsibility – which kind of goes both ways. For me, it’s usually just my by myself (both in the studio, and I play on stage with my best friend Tyler who’s a drummer), the accomplishment of doing something yourself is just so fulfilling for me. But similarly, when things are not going well or I don’t achieve something that I was really looking to, there’s no one to blame in a certain way, I know that it’s fully on me. So yeah it’s different – I don’t know if it’s better or worse, but also at the same time I’m really lucky to have an amazing label and management team so it doesn’t feel like I’m alone – it feels like I’m in a band but I just happen to sing the songs alone sometimes.
Q (Ogma Magazine): How did you get your start making music, and how did your family and your upbringing in Chicago impact the development of your sound?
Alexander 23: I started playing guitar when I was 8 and I hated it, quit picked it up a year later when I had a teacher that kind of got what I was trying to do a little bit more. I think I was pretty lucky to early on to realize, yeah I wanna be really good at guitar, I wanna shred like Eddie Van Halen, but really want to write songs. So once I realized that it was kind of like game over, and I just started writing songs from when I was 12 years old. I was just lucky to have an amazing support network, my parents were super supportive of music. I would play 3 hour bar gigs when I was 17 and they had to accompany me to that, and they were just so supportive, and never made it feel like it was impossible. So yeah I guess I hit the parent lottery in a sense. At the same time they never had to tell me to practice – I was so obsessed with it that it was kind of inevitable that it would take this shape and form in some way at some point.