Alexander 23 has a great way with words. From poetically masterful songs like ‘Hate Me If It Helps’ to ‘IDK You Yet’, which mix lyrical creativity with occasionally high concept ideas that play on the sophisticated divisions which exist between past, present, and future. You can know someone you haven’t met, you can love someone you will not grow old with, and as his recent song ‘The Hardest Part’ explores you can turn the future into a memory of someone who only belongs in the past.
Alexander 23 has been quietly at the fringes of the music industry, co-writing songs with the likes of Selena Gomez, Olivia Rodrigo, and Charlie Puth, whilst touring with John Mayer. He writes about getting old, yet at 27 he brings a youthful spirit and spontaneity, having been nurtured by those who have become key pillars in the politics of the industry.
‘The Hardest Part’ circles around themes of grief, loss, and reminiscence. Alexander 23 who is vocal on social media wrote in an Instagram story his favorite lyrics were ‘the hardest part of getting old are that some people that you love don’t.’ His personality seems playful and happy go lucky, but his songs often seem weighed down by memories of broken relationships and loss, (perhaps a sense of regret and guilt) he struggles to shake.
Inspired by his favorite artist Usher, Alexander 23 has a super visual feeling to his music, he draws on the minutia such as three text dots, trees turning red, and being ‘stuck in July.’ Alexander 23 creates the feeling of a photo album; his storytelling contains a cinematic unfolding of events that breathe dignity into an otherwise tragic event. His songs focus a lot on the concept of movement: driving down highways and crashing cars. This feeling of the journey keeps you hooked, there’s more to the story and more to be told, with something else hiding underneath the skin of the song.
As cliché as it sounds, his songs are about how every journey contains a journey not taken. Every love lost contains a love that is to be found, he pays homage to the past but also does not prolong the inevitable, grief contains the most profound opportunity to live meaningfully. He commented recently on an Instagram Post: ‘’Life is truly a highway.”