PopCrush Presents: Alex Maxwell
Every week at PopCrush, we’re putting the spotlight on one up-and-coming act you need to know about. Why? So you can get on board early before everyone else and their mother jumps on the bandwagon…and so you can be that one friend in the group who’s always like, “Um, actually, I prefer their earlier work.”
Though only 22, Alex Maxwell's voice reverberates with the the sort of guarded wisdom and vulnerable heartache that often takes a lifetime to accumulate. It makes sense, then, that the British singer-songwriter wrote her first song on the piano at the tender age of 12.
Maxwell, who grew up in London with a Spanish mother and an Irish father, was steeped in a diverse array of global sounds from her youth. Exposure to flamenco music and artists like Fleetwood Mac both informed her musical tastes and influenced her in her own songwriting, as well as led to her early success story: In 2014, a video of the artist singing on the Madrid Metro was posted on YouTube and caught the attention of Hollywood Records. The label scooped her up shortly thereafter, making her the first U.K.-based musician to sign with the California label.
Released in July 2015, Maxwell's debut single "Drive" first gave listeners a taste of her original material: moody, soulful, and lullaby-esque, with slow-throbbing beats and electro-noir production. It's the sort of brooding mid-tempo track that, when played on loop, would only enhance one's highway hypnosis when cruising down a desert freeway in the dark of night — so the songs's video is a perfect complement.
Intensifying the moody atmospherics and poetic lyricism of her first offering, the rising alt-pop artist's second single, "No Flight," was released in March 2016. An exercise in twangy, spooky electro-pop, the swirling track exists at the ghost town stationed between Zella Day, Lana Del Rey, and Bat For Lashes, where pop music is mystical, dark, and romantic while still retaining its edge.
On the song, Maxwell's lilting vocals soar and swoop alongside silvery synths: "Are you tired of dancing alone? / While the wilderness comes and goes? / Are you aching from breathing in smoke? / Living for the drag makes you choke."
"'No Flight' is a song I carry very close to my heart," Maxwell explained to PopCrush about the track. "I wrote it with the intention to encourage people to take risks and embrace the highs and lows in life. Hopefully it can inspire others like many songs have inspired me throughout my life."
The video's clocked over half a million views in less than a month since its debut on YouTube. And though "No Flight"'s message may be inspiring, its title is perhaps a bit misleading...because Alex Maxwell is definitely preparing for liftoff.
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