Aidan Alexander Captures a Deep, Lingering Sadness in the Heart-Rending “Melancholia”


Photo: Jerry Maestas

Melancholia is a condition defined by a deep, persistent sadness. In spite of this, Aidan Alexander has managed to transpose a tragic condition into a poignantly beautiful song. We originally praised the rising indie pop artist for his sophomore single "Yours," which explored unrequited love with a deft and thoughtful poise. Now, he returns with what may be both his most moving single to date and one of the most heart-rending singles of the years.

"Melancholia" is a remarkably expansive song, thematically and sonically. The track stands at the crossroads of a coming-of-age story. It is the point where our hero is at a fork in the road - frozen, afraid, and not quite sure if the path he is on is the right one. It is a very real yet difficult sense of sadness and displacement that often escapes words, let alone song. Yet, through an array of out-of-focus, moody production and sincerely reflective songwriting, the overwhelming feeling of "Melancholia" pours out through the speakers. So much so, that when Alexander sings the words, "My heart is overflowing, melancholia," it is impossible not to believe him. Alexander spoke on the underlying themes that run through "Melancholia," sharing,

"The song is about growing up and knowing that everyone around you is changing and not knowing where you fit in that. It's about the little things that age you, like going back to someplace you went as a child and it seems way smaller than it did back then. It's about your aunt's kids growing up in front of you and your dog getting old and boney. Saying goodbye to the protection of being a child is a hard thing to grasp. Even before turning 18, I've always felt a little bit on the outside of things. It's a melancholy feeling to feel alone around people. The line 'will I always feel you, melancholia?' is me identifying that all too familiar feeling. It's about knowing you are going to miss the oak-lined streets and the clean air and being carried to bed. It's about knowing that the smell of cookies baking and the feeling of your favorite show airing will be replaced with something new. And not knowing what that is."

Much like the song's subject matter, "Melancholia" stays with you long after the initial listen. However, unlike the actual feeling of melancholia, we're more than happy to have Alexander's empathic crooning linger for some time to come.

Listen to "Melancholia" below: