by Dan Goldin (@post_trash_)
It was less than a year ago when we premiered Alexander’s then new single “Today/Tomorrow,” a pair of songs Alex Fatato had written during a temporary move from Boston to Nashville. Since then, the former Du Vide leader has returned to Boston and recorded his solo debut, Settle Down. Due out on October 5th via Forged Artifacts and Disposable America Records, the album was recorded with Bradford Krieger (who also played drums and added some keys/piano) at his Big Nice Studio, capturing fleshed out versions of Alexander’s demos and voice memo recordings. The result is Fatato’s most expansive and personal set of songs yet, a moody batch of personal reflection and adapting to stress in solitude, set to a brilliant layered and well-tempered cacophony.
Similar to peers Horse Jumper of Love and Bedbug, Alexander’s music sparks wonder in the smallest occurrences (seeing a bug, lost phone chargers) and the not so small ones… such as the eternal pursuit to just let go and relax, to desire to overcome fear, and the struggle to wake up a face the new day. The lyrics maneuver between surreal fragmented ideas and heart-on-sleeve directness, Fatato balancing the two perfectly, staying afloat as manipulated chord progressions and skittering rhythms create a swirling dreamscape.
There’s a nuance to each song, an understanding of space and texture, the vocals stretching over warped bedroom psych and art-pop diversions. It’s lush and consistently gorgeous, Alexander’s layered compositions bolstering their confessional lyrics. Every moment is effective, whether in earnest or disorientation, it’s the blending of the two in songs like “Strange Time” and “Capable” that really locks in. Slow-dripped shoegaze, full of bent tones and ringing warble, the former is stunning and unpredictable, a song that’s apologetic and caterwauling. “Capable,” the album’s first single, on the other-hand takes a twangier approach, a folk spirit that soars at the core as he laments on “finding ways to escape happiness.”
Speaking about the record, Fatato shared:
"I wrote most of this album when I was living far away from home for the first time. It talks about anxiety and depression, and how I tried to deal with those things in a new place. I wanted to capture small moments that seemed representative of my time there - missing a call from a friend (“Sorry John”), standing in the kitchen alone (“Going to Sleep”), or working my way through a panic attack (“Standing Upright”). The album ends there because, despite all that sad shit, it’s fine and there are people and medicine and art and other stuff that helps!
I also wanna say that the recording process for this album was really special. I brought a bunch of demos back from Nashville and spent around 7 months on it with Bradford Krieger at Big Nice Studio. Brad pushed me in all the right ways and played drums and piano throughout the record. John Margaris played bass on every song. Judy Chong and Mason Schmitt contributed vocals and Brendan Cornish played banjo, ukulele, and mandolin. It was great having so many friends bring the album to life."
Alexander’s Settle Down is out October 5th via Disposable America and Forged Artifacts.