It’s rare in today’s musical climate to hear of an artist whose origins don’t lie in The X Factor or The Voice – or any other TV talent show, for that matter. But Alex Maxwell’s journey to stardom is a true rags-to-riches tale.
Maxwell was first discovered by a head scout from Disney Records in the UK a few years back, when a video of her busking in Madrid was uploaded to youtube.
Since then she’s gone to strength to strength, signing to Hollywood Records, moving to London, and spending her time in the studio with top producers working on new music. Flash forward to 2017, and she’s just released her second EP ‘Lie To Me’, following 2016’s ‘Signs’.
Sonically, her influences lie anywhere between Stevie Nicks and Grimes. She’s also a massive Patti Smith fan (you’ll see…) – so basically, there’s something for everyone in her music.
Here’s our track-by-track review of Lie To Me:
Lie To Me
The title track and lead single from the collection, Maxwell describes the song as, “my tribute to the city which was a part of me for almost 10 years and shaped me into who I am today”. An ode to Madrid, one could be mistaken for confusing the lyrics as targetting an ex who you know you shouldn’t go back to, but you just can’t help it (we’ve all got one, right?!). It works as both 20 minute singing-in-the-shower, and 1am and a bottle of wine later music – in other words, it’s a winner!
Just For Tonight
Definitely a song about totally letting go of a relationship gone sour! “Days go by/You are getting easier to forget” she sings over a soundscape of keys, drums and gut string guitar. The lyrics are incredibly personal – written in the early hours, Maxwell wrote both words and track in 3 hours and, again, we all have someone who those words could be about. While it may start off like any other breakup song, come three minutes in, you’re totally Team Alex.
The story of an alien being arriving on earth and feeling out of place, over a track that wouldn’t sound out of place in a sci-fi movie – we’re sold. Obviously self-reflexive of Maxwell’s move from Madrid to London, it takes a couple of listens to truly realise what the song is about, and how closely linked it is to the diversity in the city of London.
Because The Night
Maxwell closes the collection with a stunning low-fi cover of the Patti Smith classic, and it’s perhaps the most triumphant moment of the set. Lush harmonies, tinkling keys and synth strings make up the core of the track, and the pounding drumbeat towards the end serves only to strengthen the impact of the piece. Perfect date night music.
It’s difficult to relocate from the place you’ve made home for 10 years, and with it there often comes a lot of doubt and insecurity. Thankfully, Alex Maxwell overcame her homesickness, and delivered a well-crafted, diverse and personal effort. If ‘Lie To Me’ is anything to go by, it wont be long until Maxwell’s setting the charts alight.