Summer Heart Interview

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Summer Heart is both the stage name for David Alexander’s music and also the phrase that probably best describes his sound. That’s how his publicist put it, but after listening to his tunes, it’s a surprisingly true statement. His latest single “Nothing Can Stop Us Now” via blahblahblahscience is a catchy indie folk tune that sprinkles in electronic elements, a departure from his usual electronic music that intersperses guitar elements. From whatever angle he’s tackling the music, Alexander has a unique sense of creating good summer vibes through his music, which we’ll happily carry with us through these next few chilly winter months.
Cliché: Can you explain what “Nothing Can Stop Us Now” is about and what it means to you?
David Alexander: It is pretty much about writing this record that I am just about to finish. I actually finished a record last autumn, but I decided to scrap it because I just wasn’t happy with how it turned out. That was a pretty heavy decision to make. I moved to Paris for a while to get a fresh start and inspiration to start writing this new record.
The songs seem more focused on the guitar than some of your previous songs. How do you balance the electronic sounds with the organic sounds in your music?
I don’t think about using this instrument here and that instrument there, you know? I just play around with what I got at hand until I am pleased with how it sounds and feels. However, you are right that “Nothing Can Stop Us Now” is more focused on guitar than some of my previous stuff. I am definitely a better guitar player than a synth player, so it might have something to do with that as well. I find it so much easier to write songs on guitar.
Is there a certain atmosphere and mood you are trying to convey through your music?
Well, I guess the vibe is everything in a way, but I am not trying to convey any vibe in particular. When I am writing a song, I know when the “vibe” of the song, or whatever you want to call it, is there. I think that vibe somehow gets through to listeners. At least I’d like to think it does.
Because of technology, more people than ever are able to create the kind of lo-fi electronic music you also create. How do you think you stand out from the crowd and what do you think of the current state of the genre?
To be honest, I don’t know what this genre really is, but I think it’s a wonderful thing. I mean, many people can create music with simple tools like Garageband or similar. Like you said, it is harder to stand out from the crowd since the competition is bigger than ever. However, creating music is something I have to do. It is such a big part of who I am, so personally, I have never thought of how, or even if, my music actually stands out from the crowd. It might have something to do with the vibe maybe.
Where do your influences come from?
My influences come from everywhere. While I was in Paris, I listened a lot to David Bowie’s Hunky Dory, which is a very inspirational record; however, my new tracks don’t sound anything like Bowie, not at all. My friends in Death In The Afternoon are about to release a new album and getting to hear their demos evolve into a great record has also been really inspiring.
How was your September tour of the U.S.? Was this your first time here?
It was great! We had a great time, and met so many good people. It wasn’t our first time playing shows in the U.S., but it was our first proper tour. We will do it again, I promise.
What are the next steps for you and your music?
The plan is to finish this album I am currently working on. We will also probably be spending a lot of time in London. I love that city. We just did a secret gig in Paris in November as well, and that was crazy!

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Summer Heart Interview: Photographed by Linda Lomelino