Alex May mixes lo-fi beats with jazz.
Alex May – ‘Way Out’
‘Give me space,’ sings the opening line of Alex May’s ‘Way Out’. The whole track – although not a very long one, clocking in at 1 minute 25 seconds, suitable for a TikTok audience – is a plea for space, understanding, and the chance to solve problems on one’s own. And true to the theme, the track is a mellow one, with plenty of space.
Alex May is an Australian artist who describes himself as mixing indie, jazz and R&B. This is his debut single, with more to come.
‘Way Out’ is a lo-fi indie jazz track with a relaxed feel and self-reflective lyrics.
May’s lyrics are stream-of-consciousness style, addressing some unseen friend, foe, or perhaps even just himself. ‘Let me decide what I think is best’, he sings, with laidback drawling indie-boy vocals. There are elements of overthinking – ‘think how much I am obsessed’ – but also of independence and assertion – ‘let me figure my way out of this’. The easygoing, natural-seeming melodies show influences of both the R&B and jazz worlds.
The production centres around a smooth guitar, rhythmically strumming and showing more jazz-soul influence in the harmonics – think Bill Withers territory. The beats are sharper, leaning more towards hip-hop, and there are also some distorted, faraway backing vocals, giving it all a bit of a surreal, dreamy tone. Fans of modern singer-songwriters with jazz sensibilities, such as Bruno Major or Raul Midon, will find something to enjoy here. The incredibly short track length means the song won’t overstay its welcome, but don’t worry – Spotify just started playing it all over again for me.
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Words Eden Tredwell