Jeffrey Martin, Tommy Alexander
Tommy Alexander has never quite known where he was going, just to keep moving.
In 2015 something undeniable was pulling the 31-year old DIY musician, self-made entrepreneur, and college dropout to the Pacific Northwest, where he quickly become a core part of their close knit songwriting community. While continuing to refine his own songwriting and performing skills, Alexander would go on to found Pilot Light Booking, which initially focused on that very community, but soon expanded to nearly 50 artists nationwide. As he began to delve into the art of tour booking, Alexander cold called one of his favorite venues and was soon the talent buyer at Bunk Bar. With little to no experience booking a dense concert schedule, Alexander dove in. His plan was simple: offer Bunk Bar to the community as a home for local showcases and touring bands alike. Bunk’s concert schedule thrived, on average hosting more than 20 shows a month.
With the pandemic putting an end to his days as a talent buyer, Alexander moved to Nashville in April of 2021. As touring slowly was coming back, the self-taught booking agent would go on to book more than 800 shows between April 2021 and April 2022, while responsible for a national touring roster of 25 artists.
In April of 2022, Alexander was offered a job to book tours at Wasserman Nashville, one of the most respected music booking teams in the world. As hard as it was to let go of Pilot Light Booking and the idea of a dense touring schedule of his own, Alexander knew this was something he needed to pursue
But his own music career was not to be put on a back burner. While in Nashville Alexander met Riley Downing at a small stakes poker game. Downing had just released a stunning album made with Nashville engineer and producer, Andrija Tokic. Downing offered to connect Alexander and Tokic and as they say, the rest is history. Tokic put together a band of Nashville session musicians including Chris Scruggs, Jo Schornikow, Megan Coleman, “Little” Jack Lawrence, Billy Contreras, and Dillon Watson. What started out as just a few songs soon grew into an album titled Feelings which will be released via Fluff and Gravy Records on October 28, 2022. The record finds Alexander delving deeper than ever into his own emotional state through a poetic and approachable songwriting lens.
The title track, “Feelings” is an emotional outburst of attempted self-reflection. Lost in the confusion between feelings and self-awareness, our protagonist strives to understand their own patterns in a merry-go-round of voluntary chaos. Set to a pulsing downbeat and celebratory organ swings, the precept here is to be true to oneself, yet simultaneously part of something bigger and objectively true.
“Silence” is the most haunting track on the LP, with its plodding blend of blues and doom. According to Alexander, “Silence stalks the night, elusive and untouchable. And through the eyes of the watcher we witness our own belonging. We see our connection to the mind and to the radiated world. Just as the cardinal and the busy boy are connected, in silence we cross the bridge between unafraid and complete loneliness.”
Other standout tracks include “Something Light”, which could have come straight from an early 1960’s Johnny Cash album, “Blues”, and “Backslide”, which would feel right at home on the new Built to Spill album.
Feelings was recorded in Nashville at The Bomb Shelter with Engineer Producer Andrija Tokic. The record was primarily tracked live over five session, with a few choice overdubs. Alexander credits Tokic as a wizard of audio.
Tommy Alexander has three previous independently released albums to his name, with his 2020 LP, Waves, ending up on numerous end of the year lists, including nods from KEXP and Magnet Magazine. Over the years, Alexander has shared shows with Big Thief, Michael McDonald, Mac Demarco, Chaka Khan, and People Under the Stairs among many others.