With music production tools becoming more accessible and music streaming services allowing for an easy avenue to distribute music, the number of prominent, young artists in the music industry has increased dramatically.
For the better, this has allowed young artists’ voices to reach out to and relate with younger audiences who are searching both for good music and insightful, engaging lyrics filled with fitting advice and comfort.
Joining this bunch of influential rising young artists is Alexander Glantz, known as Alexander 23, who released his debut album, I’m Sorry I Love You this past Friday, Oct. 25.
Alexander 23 has slowly gained popularity after joining in on a 2018 tour with Alec Benjamin, another rising young artist, most well known for his single, “Let Me Down Slowly.”
At Benjamin’s concerts, Alexander played for his ideal target audience of 16 to 20 year olds, who then became prime listeners of his new releases, such as “Another Summer Night Without You,” which was included on the soundtrack of the third season of the popular Netflix teen series, 13 Reasons Why.
Alexander’s popularity also increased after he appeared in August’s annual Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago. Born and raised in Chicago himself, this performance fulfilled one of his life dreams on which he now hopes to capitalize.
Alexander is no doubt representative of today’s typical young rising artists, who now all seem to start out by producing their songs from their own bedrooms.
He began his musical career when he picked up the guitar as a nine year old. Inspired by John Mayer at the time, he became involved with a teenage band, where he also learned how to play the bass, piano and drums.
At the age of 23, he was finally able to combine his multi-instrumental talent with digital music production in order to put together fully-fledged pop songs.
While he entered college as a mechanical engineering student, he decided to divert his attention to becoming a full-time musician.
Today the 24-year-old musician has developed a style that is easily distinguishable for its balance between pop, acoustic and indie, along with his lyrical simplicity, honesty and relatability.
Alexander’s debut EP begins with “Dirty AF1’s,” a song in which he details his experience of moving to Los Angeles, where a brief reunion with his lover was cut short after she returned back to her home in New York: “You took your smile back to New York, but you left your toothbrush.”
In an interview with Billboard, he described “Dirt AF1’s” as a prototype for the kind of music he wanted to produce.
“This was the first song I ever released,” he said. “I wanted to put it out first because I think it really paints the bounds of who I want to be as an artist. It is painfully specific, harmonically interesting and lyrically and musically honest.”
Exemplifying Alexander’s relevance to his Gen Z audience, his song “The Internet” addresses the challenges of growing up in the age of the internet, where people escape to only to eventually feel lost and out of touch with reality.
The subsequent songs, “Mars” and “Girl,” address contemporary young love. “Mars,” his most popular song, explores the complexities of one-sided relationships over a calming beat. Similarly “Girl” includes an innovative techno-like guitar solo while describing what it feels like to fall head-first into love.
Both “When I Die” and “Sad” delve into heavier subjects but are simultaneously accompanied by an uplifting and anthemic tone to lighten the mood.
“When I Die” dives into Alexander’s personal take on death as well as a more intimate perspective regarding how he hopes he will impact others after he dies. The second verse ends with, “I hope that people are sad when I die / I hope they all go tell my mom / And my dad that they raised me right / Despite all of the mistakes that I made.”
Finally “Sad” vocalizes the challenge of not being able to help get rid of a loved one’s sorrow aside from simply wishing to erase their sadness. This is captured in the beginning lines, “You're just too good at being sad / I'm just a Band-Aid on a broken heart.” While remorseful, the song is a reflection of Alexander’s way of expressing his care for people and the world around him.
With its final state stripped of any additional technological production, the song “High School” is one of the few songs Alexander has ever reproduced several times. Being stripped, it showcases Alexander’s raw but soothing voice with a straightforward but highly relatable story.
From the relatability and simplicity of the lyrics to the soothing balance of instruments and electronic sound modification, Alexander 23’s EP, I’m Sorry I Love You, makes it clear that his music career isn’t predicated on loud, flamboyant themes but rather on subtle themes that resonate in our daily lives.
For those looking for a break during finals, watch out as Alexander 23 comes to Washington, D.C. with Omar Apollo on Friday, Dec. 13.