We may be stuck in the icy chill of winter, but TAYLOR ALXNDR is already thinking about summer. Specifically, the Atlanta songwriter and co-founder of Southern Fried Queer Pride is thinking about those halcyon feels and bittersweet thoughts that emerge when the end of the season intersects with the start of school and you can’t help but feel the weight of shifting time and lost opportunities. It’s a transportive memory that many of us can relate to, but for ALXNDR it’s one they associate directly with Lorde’s 2013 single “Buzzcut Season.”
“There’s something bittersweet about the song,” ALXNDR says. “If feels like the end of summer when school is about to start, but there’s so much left to say and do. I listened to it so much, I started hearing it in different genres and melodies.”
When ALXNDR began constructing their cover, the intent was reach into the past and blend together the sounds of their teenage years by merging Southern trap with airy synth-pop. Growing up, ALXNDR spent much of their time in Clayton County when trap music was beginning its cultural ascent, and they wanted to capture a sense of that urban grit and grime without sacrificing the original’s lush ambience.
“I hear melodies and lyrics in different temperatures and locations,” ALXNDR explains. “In my cover, there’s heavy bass and the sound of night time, which reminds me of my youth, spending a lot of time in Clayton County when trap music first started to take over. I wanted it to sound like when a car is blasting a bass-heavy song while driving by. I’m also a synth fanatic and certain synths, like the ones I used on the cover, have a very nostalgic tint to them. Nostalgia is important to me and I feel like this cover drips with it.”
Indeed, while ALXNDR’s rendition doesn’t quite have the immediacy of Lorde’s original, the subtle layering of sounds and textures makes for a more immersive listening experience. It’s atmospheric and dreamy in a way that feels reflective, but there’s a glimmer of dark tension lurking on the edges.
Give it a listen below.
With a debut full length in the works, “Buzzcut Season” is just the first taste of what’s to come from ALXNDR this year. But those hoping for more of the sumptuous house beats and dark, dreamy electronica they unveiled on last year’s NOISE EP, should prepare themselves for something new from the artist. “It’s vastly different from the previous work I’ve put out,” ALXNDR says. “I’ve dabbled in house and darkwave on my past EP. This album, so far, is such a hodgepodge of different genres. It’s definitely more pop-leaning and bright, and has live instruments. It’ll be out before the end of the year.”
TAYLOR ALXNDR will perform on Thu., Feb. 22 at QueercoreATL at the EARL alongside Bitter, Blammo, Haint, and Hydrakiss. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. Admission is $8-10. 21+ to enter.