On March 23 at the Goodfoot, Tommy Alexander will premiere his new album Old News alongside The Harmed Brothers and Taylor Kingman of The Hill Dogs. This is not his first rodeo, by any means. Alexander founded Jenke, an artist collective and record label, in 2011, followed by the release of two full-length albums and two EPs by the end of 2014. During this time, he also partnered with Alanna Grace Flynn to form Quiet Lion. Tommy Alexander has had a lot to say during these past few years, and he says it with a passionate and unique voice.
Produced by Mike Coykendall, who has worked with such acts as M. Ward, Blitzen Trapper, She & Him, and Bright Eyes, Old News puts a refreshing, modern spin on the folk tradition of storytelling through song. Alexander’s voice is full of passion, with tangible emotion and a depth of experience to share. Fans of both indie and pop music will enjoy the variety in instrumental sounds and the carefully constructed lyrics.
The song “Traveling” displays some of those lyrics: “Just remember: Some days are made for traveling, some days for putting away. When the well runs dry, and your luck runs out. When you’re livin’ to die, and knowin’ to doubt. We’re gonna make it through okay.” Life is a series of heartbreaks, struggles and challenges—recognizing those facts can either stop you in your tracks, or encourage you to keep moving forward. Tommy Alexander has chosen the latter, and he invites his listeners to come along.
Tommy Alexander is a poet—there is no denying it. The songs on Old News might seem to tell a simple story at first, but a poet cannot be completely understood at first glance—you have to walk in Alexander’s musical shoes for a while, listening for the meaning of the story while enjoying the voice in which it is told. Though all of Alexander’s stories might not be deep and full of meaning to everyone all the time, the snapshots of life he presents in each story provide insight. That’s the beauty of poetry and folk music. The stories endure, and the meaning evolves in the listener’s life. Alexander’s musical poetry intentionally changes in voice and tone, first looking inward and then outward to bring listeners along on his journey.