Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Cindy Alexander releases new single "Life #9"

I saw Cindy Alexander perform at the NAMM Show and she delivered a terrific set. Here is news (and music) about "Life #9," an advance track from her forthcoming album titled Messy...Robert Kinsler

Cindy Alexander Reaches Across Generations with New Single "Life #9"

Life #9 is the second single released from the singer-songwriter's upcoming album, 'Messy' 

Los Angeles — May 23, 2023 — Big Sur-based singer-songwriter Cindy Alexander today released "Life #9," the second single from her forthcoming record Messy. Where previous single "Call Us What We Are" led with pushed boundaries and confrontation, "Life #9" invites listeners old and new into Alexander's wheelhouse: probing and provocative lyrics folded into sing-along musical catnip. Warm chords and a grooving rhythm section open the track's Americana sound, while shimmering guitar accents and swelling organ balance out thick, lush vocal harmonies. Although the song’s ending is undisputably hopeful, its lyrics address the perils of growing up in a world where footage of the worst society has to offer turns up on algorithmically-curated feeds every day.

Listen to the song HERE.

As the mother of twin teenage girls, Alexander feels attuned to the threats facing young people. “I was much younger at 14 than my girls at 14,” she says. “They have seen and experienced so much more than I ever did because they get to see it on the Internet.” Some of the song’s dark lyrics were born from things she’s seen on TikTok. But there’s nothing teens love more than to ignore the condescending, judgmental advice of the older generation. Alexander wanted the opposite effect: to use music’s expressive power to bridge the generational gap. Through conversations with her longtime writing partner and musical soulmate, Paul Trudeau, she teased out some of the anxieties rattling around the mind of today’s teenager and offered her perspective as someone who’s been on the ride a while.

Enter the concept of multiple lives (and life paths). For cats, the ninth life is the last, and therefore contains the most accumulated wisdom. “I wanted to reference someone who’s been through a lot and gained wisdom from her mistakes, but is having a hard time imparting the knowledge to someone who doesn’t want to listen,” Alexander says. But the title has another meaning. When she looked into the numerological concept of life paths, she found she herself was on life path nine. The coincidence (or kismet) drove her to finish the song over several writing sessions with Trudeau.

Despite their darkness, many of the lyrics in “Life #9” came out of a playful, intuitive approach to songwriting. Alexander and Trudeau would sing hooks to one another in nonsense language to find those that worked melodically, then return later to fill in the details. The result is a collage of images and ideas that feels fun and lively even when the subject matter is tough. Of course, the rockstar band playing behind Alexander doesn’t hurt. Zac Rae (Death Cab for Cutie, Leonard Cohen) opens the track with ethereal keys supporting the lead melody. Zackary Darling engineered and mixed the song, helping Dave Levita’s (Stevie Nicks, Lana Del Rey) guitar wind in and around Rae before Bushnell on bass and Thomas Lang (Peter Gabriel, Robbie Williams) on drums kick the groove into gear.

Fiery and dynamic, the song builds out layers with practiced efficiency. The keystone, however, is background vocalist Bernie Barlow (The Moody Blues, Sarah McLachlan). “She’s a secret weapon,” says Alexander. “Her voice wraps around mine so well.” The two have worked together several times, and Barlow functions as a glue between Alexander and her band of new collaborators. Although the song’s sound is tried-and-true Cindy Alexander rock and roll, Bushnell and the rest elevate the craft, pulling the best performances out of each other to create a catchy anthem that doesn’t sacrifice depth for accessibility.

“This is a song that makes people sway their bodies and bop their heads, making the deeper and darker message a bit more palatable. I hope it can spark a conversation within families and between friends,” Alexander says. “Mental health is a serious issue, maybe even a worldwide emergency. I want parents and kids alike to know they’re not alone. But above all, I want our kids to know that they are precious, they are loved, and the light is within.” 

For more information about Cindy Alexander, visit: https://www.cindyalexander.com/

To learn more about KZZ Music, visit: http://www.kzzmusic.com

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