In Alexandra's new single (and music video), there is a potential for something more.
In the current pop music arena, there have been too few alt-rock female singers that have emerged in the last decade. For every Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Bey or, Adele (all wonderful in their own rights, duh obviously!), the next Courtney Love, Kelis, P.J. Harvey, or even Fiona Apple, have been few and far between—bordering on non-existent. Sorry folks, Miley doesn't count, she's more Madonna than Morissette. Things have changed greatly from the Riot Grrrl heydays of the 90s, and one could argue that musical trends come and go, and in the selfie-wielding, contour-obsessed, social media-driven world, we currently reside, there simply is no market for it amongst millennials. Or anyone else for that matter. But I disagree, if Sleater-Kinney's reunion continuation album and subsequent tour taught us anything, it's that music fans (and the press) are hungry for this kind of guitar driven, alt-pop. Based on the buzz SKs album created alone—Time referred to them as America's best rock band—it's clear that we are all practically starving for it!
Which brings us to new artist Alexandra. Although, not as punk-rock as some of the aforementioned acts, but she's still only in her fledgling stage. Her sound, is more reminiscent of Alanis Morissette, both familiar yet (in 2016) completely new. It can't be denied that Alexandra sings her heart out while unapologetically pledging her loyalty to a low-life, in debut Criminal.
The lyrics and songwriting on this track are incredibly strong for the Australian newcomer, and some might say, "but Alanis did this before and better." But, they would be missing the point. For her first release, Alexandra has a crystal clear understanding of the sound that she wishes to convey. Which is rare in 2016. It's a lot grittier than what we hear today, not overproduced, filled with rawness and riffs. She wants to keep 'the demand for genuine music and songwriters alive,' without wearing a "predetermined" superficial facade, which comes across in the way she performs the track. And apparently that "sound" was heard (and appreciated by others), who may have felt there was indeed a particular element missing within the industry today. She first knew she was headed in the right direction, when her home demo of ‘Criminal’ was picked up by producer Stuart Epps (Elton John, Oasis, Led Zeppelin) in England, with his production of the song being widely, well received online. However, it wasn't until the song was heard by the American award-winning producer Keith Olsen, that Alexandra’s true style started to take flight. His extensive background in the music industry with female icons (Pat Benatar, Fleetwood Mac), brought a certain energy to the track, and became an integral part in it's completion. An 'edge and element of risk' that she believes to be mostly missing in music today.
Whether alt-rock, pop, or not, few songs these days are filled with live instrumentals, or a gravelly throated female lead. That's why Alexandra's debut shows the potential (and possibly fresh new start), of a movement in music that has been sorely missed.