Because we experience them in solitude, it is easy to forget that many of our most personal experiences, like crying alone in the Target parking lot, are also shared. In his new EP, Oh No, Not Again!, Alexander 23 not only shares such sentiments but also tastefully couples them with cadence in a way that will have you singing along in concession.
The talented wunderkind, born Alexander Glantz, gifts us an EP that features both previously released tracks as well as plenty of fresh favorites. Songs that may ring familiar include "IDK You Yet," in which Glantz urges his soulmate to hurry up and cross paths with him, as the opening line sings, "How can you miss someone you've never met?" The two-note guitar pattern graces the melody along with spurts of choral background vocals and church organ sprinkles. Another familiar tune is "Nothing's the Same," a collaborative release with Jeremy Zucker revolving around themes of nostalgia and distant memories.
Alexander 23 continues to remind us of his lyrical prowess, especially in songs like "Brainstorm," in which he asks, "How bad's the weather in your head?…/ Salt water is rolling down your neck… / Where do you go when nobody knows where you are," depicting the feeling of watching someone else drown deeper and deeper into their own head.
"Caught in the Middle" is another testament to Alexander 23's lyrical acumen, as he explores the feeling of being in the "middle of lovers and strangers.“ With catchy, layered guitars grooves, a woodwind melody and raw drum kit, Glantz sings, "You know everything about me except how my day was / Ain’t it funny how we used to say I love you / Now we don't say nothing at all."
The EP also features some unheard gems, such as "Come Here and Leave Me Alone," a masterfully crafted song that so effectively articulates the feeling of wanting to let someone in but keeping them at arm's length. The song begins, "I'm not crazy / It's normal to cry in the target parking lot," building up to the lyrical veracity of the chorus, "Come here and leave me alone / Love me but don't get too close / Touch me from a mile away / Get out, oh baby won't you stay / Stay near and give me some room / Hate me baby I love you."
Oh No, Not Again! concludes with "track 9," which feels like a sonic spotlight on one person in the audience - someone who used to be backstage but now only enters from the foyer. The tremolo descending piano accompanies Glantz as he sings, "I see you made it all the way to track 9 / So thanks for listening to all my thoughts / Used to give 'em to you straight / But now you wait for the release day." As it continues, he admits he had trouble writing about this person because, "Once the pen's to paper, then it's really, really over."
In many ways, "track 9" and Oh No, Not Again! is akin to sprawling something down in permanent ink. Both reflect a sense of forever and, though that can offer a therapeutic degree of closure, it can also serve as a harsh reminder of the perpetuity of the situation.
Listen to Oh No, Not Again! below: