I’ve managed to spill quite a bit of ink over the course of the past decade, covering the Malmö-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, electronic music producer and electronic music artist David Alexander, best known to the world, as the creative mastermind behind the critically applauded, internationally acclaimed recoding project Summer Heart.
Alexander began 2020 signing to renowned Swedish label Icons Creating Evil Art, who released his latest effort, Ambitions EP last month. And much like his previously released work, Ambitions draws from the JOVM mainstay’s daily life — with the material conceptually revealing the story of the man behind the breezy and infectious synth pop tunes. Written during a recent trip to California and Malmö, the EP touches thematically touch upon tales about his love-life and allowing himself to let go and experience life as it happens.
“Before going on tour I always make sure to wrap up all the work I have postponed or ignored so I can come back to a blank slate,” the acclaimed Swedish JOVM mainstay says of the forthcoming EP. “But since my tour got cancelled it was the first time in my adult life I actually didn’t have anything to do. It was very freeing and I could sit down and think about what I wanted to create and what I had struggled with in the past. I realised I’ve just wanted too much and never really been able to slow down and see things from a different perspective. The EP itself is about having high ambitions and wanting to do so many things at the same time but not always knowing where to put your focus.”
“One recurring theme in the lyrics is that it is difficult to live in the present,” Alexander adds. “How would it be if you did everything differently? It is the thought of that the grass is greener on the other side, though you know it is not. You just remember the nice things, even though something might have been crap. Like traveling or going to a festival for example. When you are in it, it is neither how you imagined it before, when you where looking forward to it, nor how you remember it afterwards when you remember it as wonderful. It is very much what the texts are about, that you dream away, it is about relationships and life in general. It’s something I’m trying to practice – living in the present, but it’s hard, unfortunately.”
Earlier this year, I wrote about Ambitions single “Good Together,” a swooning pop confection centered round a breezy and atmospheric poduction featuring shimmering synths, strummed acoustic guitar, stuttering beats, a propulsive bass line and the Malmö-born, Los Angeles-born artist’s unerring knack for an infectious hook paired with his plaintive vocals. EP single “Black Jeans” is centered around shimmering and synth arpeggios, skittering trap beats and a sinuous hook. Sonically, the track strikes me as a slick yet earnest synthesis of 80s Quiet Storm pop and brooding atmospherics, making it one of the JOVM mainstay’s more cinematic tracks of his catalog. Much like its immediate predecessor, the track finds its narrator reliving a relationship that has left him with lingering ghosts and regrets with the sort of nostalgia that takes him away from the present he should be paying attention to right this moment.
Directed and animated by James Edwards, the recently released video follows a white-clad, motorcycle riding Alexander, cruising through town. Eventually winding up in a romantic little bar by himself, the animated Alexander has thoughts on one thing — the beautiful women, who got away.
“’Black Jeans’ is episode two in the animated series about Summer Heart. It takes place in Summer Heart’s hometown Los Angeles,” James Edwards explains. “Still in his white suit and on his red motorbike he continues helping people conquer their negative thoughts. At the same time the protagonist struggles on a personal level as he is falling back into bad habits and bad relationships.”