Christian Alexander's debut album, Summer '17, is a raw an honest portrait direct from the artist's bedroom in the north England city of Preston. The influence of Frank Ocean's Blonde is immediate, but Alexander's unpolished sound tells its own story. A video for the title track, premiering above today on The FADER, gets at the album's themes of isolation and the multitude of frustrations that go along with living somewhere you don't feel entirely fulfilled.
Check out the video above and scroll down for an interview with Alexander, in which he talks about the themes of his album and his plans for a quick follow-up.
What is Summer '17 about and what does it mean to you?
Summer '17 is a mixtape that I made when I was feeling low. I was feeling quite sad and lonely, I kinda just wrote the songs as an output for what i was going through, everything was really quick, I wasn't really thinking too much about it. I wrote and recorded a good amount of the project over the span of a couple of weeks, the emotions i was feeling are all still pretty fresh. The whole project from start to finish is a trip into my little world and how i think from time to time, i feel like it's a nice place to visit when you want to be alone for a little bit.
What is the concept behind the "Summer '17" video?
The song is quite hypnotic in the way that there's a constant single vocal melody repeated throughout, and I feel the video captures that well. I worked with a duo called Acetone Films from LA. The whole video was shot around places that I know and that I'm familiar with, which is cool. I think it's more personal that way than just going to places that have no connection to me.
How have you found the response to the album?
It's been great, people seem to be really connected to it. I have people telling me how much it relates to them and showing love which is cool. The project is an escape for me when things become too much, it was the same when I was writing it, and to see people feeling the same way makes me happy.
Can you talk about what it's like being 21 and living in Preston?
It's alright, the city is nice, but I get pretty bored for the most part as I'm not really connected to anything that goes on where I live. I tend to seclude myself to focus, and all my old friends have moved away, so it can be pretty lonely at times. I keep myself busy though and I've used the time to work on my music so it's been good really. I've just finished the next project that I've been working on recently, I want to release that sometime later this year. There's been a real progression with this next body of work, I'm excited for people to hear it. I wanna make some crazy visuals for it and just expand on the vision that I have.