On July 15, award-winning, singer-songwriter Cindy Alexander will release 8th studio album, Deep Waters, via Blue Élan Records.
Exploring love in all of its forms— the passionate, sexual, the sacred and the maternal, even love that’s remorseful and misguided, Deep Waters is an insightful collection that exposes Alexander as a fearlessly skilled songwriter, singer and artist in every sense of the word.
The title track, about abandoning oneself completely to another, was the first song she wrote with acclaimed artist, writer and producer Colin Devlin, best known for his solo work and as half of leading Irish duo, The Devlins. Blue Élan producers immediately recognized the duo’s creative chemistry and asked for a full album. Alexander ultimately wrote or co-wrote eight of the album’s 10 tracks.
Here, for the first time, is the single “Heaven’s Wall,” a declaration of positive energy and affirmation. Alexander shares this about the song: “While getting to know Colin's work before we began production, I stumbled across ‘Heaven's Wall’ and was hooked. I asked him if I could my own spin on the song and he was all for it. It's important to me, when covering someone else's song, to make it "my own." So I dare say that the meaning that I find in the lyrics of ‘Heaven's Wall’ is different from Colin's original interpretation. Colin would say it's a post apocalyptic love song. To me, it's about a love that awakens the senses to something greater than ourselves. I'm actually playing a character in this performance...one that the two of us conjured up in the studio. It definitely influenced the vocal approach. I love Colin's guitar performance in this song, especially the alt country approach in the final solo.”
As a performer, Alexander has won several prestigious awards including David Foster's/NBC Star Tomorrow, L.A. Music Awards Songwriter of the Year/ Independent Pop Album of the Year, All Access Magazine's Best Female Pop Vocalist, Just Plain Folks Song of the Year/Female Artist of the Year, L.A. Music Critic's Best Female CD ('12 & '14), and Comeback Artist (after winning her fight against breast cancer '14).
Here we sat down with Alexander to talk about the album, and where she hopes Deep Waters will take her next.
Tell me about your approach for Deep Waters.
The album is definitely a departure. It’s the first time that I collaborated 100% with another singer songwriter, who also produced me. And I’ve only really had a couple of writing partners in my life. And I’ve really only had one producer, so this was an incredible change for me. Different people bring out different sides of you. I avoid writing love songs and using the word love, but when there’s somebody else involved in writing lyrics or in the songwriting process sometimes your intentions can take a turn.
I think the album explores love in many ways, both dark and light and all the gray in between.
Co-writing can be a challenge. It can be hard to let go of control.
Yes, well that was the first thing we did. We wrote a song about letting go called "Deep Waters." The idea was to go in and not have any rules or expectations just to see what happens. So you have to leave all your resistance and habits at the door. It forces you to grow. And there are no rules in music. You can find patterns, but when you’re creating music for the sake of art and for your own sanity, you can let that go.
At the beginning when we first wrote “Deep Waters” I didn’t know what people would think about it. You know, there’s no form. And I don’t know if there’s really a chorus, but people really dug it. And there was something about performing a song about letting go and actually letting go while you are singing it, that had an affect on people. So we just kept going with that idea.
I know you play guitar…what do you play?
Well, I do write on the guitar, but Colin is such a great guitar player that he plays on most of the tracks. But when I play live I play a Taylor 510ce that had a keyboard stand crash into it, so there’s a big gash that’s been repaired on the face. So I always know it’s mine!
And I have a Tronical tuner on it. And note to anyone who uses a Tronical or any one of those automated tuning devices. Be careful when you put it down on your guitar stand during a show. If you haven’t turned it off, it will start tuning to the stage and it will go insane and it will break your strings on stage right in front of your eyes! This is what happened to me last week!
I love the device, it works great for me because I can’t see very well to use a pedal tuner, especially when you’re playing outdoors. So I love my little robot, except for when I forget to turn it off.
I read that you’re a breast cancer survivor and I know you share your story a lot. How has this affected your music?
I never take anything for granted, ever. I am constantly reminding myself to be present and I realize how lucky I am to make music and live m dream. When you know what your passion and purpose is in life and you are able to devote yourself to it, well, it’s such a blessing.
I strive for balance in my life and my family always comes first, but they support me in my music. And it’s also a way for me to give this message back to my children. I always say to them, someday you are going to find your own passion and purpose, and it’s important that you honor that.
And now that I’m on the other side of it, I feel like I can do anything. And I think about legacy. I think about what I’m leaving behind and I want to make sure it’s positive.
Music has been the key to my adventure in life.
It’s awesome that you share your experience with others. I’m sure it inspires and consoles many others.
Well, that’s what music does. Maybe it allows them to process their feelings. Or to put their experience into the words of the song that maybe they couldn’t find on their own. That’s part of the gift.
Yes, I wanted to ask about that. When someone listens to Deep Waters, what do you hope they will walk away thinking or feeling?
Whatever record I do, I always hope that someone finds a piece of themselves in it. No matter where you come from we are all more alike than we are different. You know, love is love. Pain is pain. And we experience it in different ways but at our core we’re very much the same. So I hope that people listen to my music and find a part of their life it.
Find out more and pre-order at http://www.cindyalexander.com
Catch Cindy Alexander live:
7/7 - San Rafael, CA The Fenix
7/8 - San Luis Obispo, CA Linnea’s
7/17 – Hermosa Beach, CA Saint Rocke – Album Release Party