Emerging London-based, Manchester-born solo artist Lexytron muddies the bleeding heart and melody of Mozart with the downright dirt and danger of rock’n’roll. Having honed her musical skills on the piano and violin, Lexy’s later discovery of rock music sees her present ‘an alternative girl’s guide to love, loss and lust’ that will be unveiled with the launch of her debut single Blackmail on Friday (9 November).
Lexytron’s music is playful and purposeful, dipped in rock but retaining an approachable poppy edge. In her words: “Lexytron sounds like a female frontwoman of more than one band! Generally speaking, the album is guitar-heavy, but by the same token I play piano and violin on some of the songs and there are synths and other unusual sounds that crop up! I will be playing around London in the run-up to the release of Blackmail and I will be performing acoustically with Mike (Grice, City Reign) on guitar and me on violin, which will bring out a very different tone in the lyrics! I am interested to see how this goes down as it is an experiment for me to be singing and playing the violin together.”
Lexy describes Blackmail as “the Devil’s take on a love song – sick, twisted and tempting with its roaring riffs and psycho-bitch harmonies.” Which obviously had our interest piqued immediately.
It opens up with a repeating riff, then drums kick in alongside Lexy’s vocals “You trust your horses more than me, You’ve self-enforced your security, ‘Til my persistence will hunt you down, And my existence will burn you to the ground.” Cool “do-dee-do” vocals link into a second verse, which is followed by dreamy vocals over a more intense guitar riff that builds towards an infectiously catchy chorus of “And I wanna tell you that I’ve fallen in love, And you say I’m sick and I don’t know you enough, But I wanna wear you down and send you blackmail, Possess you and arrest you, I’ll lock you in jail.”
Another verse follows, featuring the cool line “I’ll close you down in Medieval style, A knight who jousts for nighttime by your side,” which gives way to a couple more choruses that see more instrumental support creep in, then ends with rockier guitar. It’s an intruguing, engaging introduction to the Lexytron sound, and you can have a first peek in the video below:
On her first track, Lexy explains: “We kept the music very close to our chests while we were recording it, so it has been a great feeling to share Blackmail and see/hear/read people’s reactions and how they interpret the lyrics. The music came from a personal place but it is wonderful that people are enjoying it. It is very cool that it is getting played on radio in other countries too! I had spins as far as Barcelona and Lima this week alone!”
The single offers a first taster of Lexytron’s the debut album, of which she tells us we should expect the unexpected. Lexy said: “Something Blue crosses genres. I like to think of it as an alternative girl’s version of The White Album. It represents a landmark in my life, the colour of my guitar, and is a nod to my two songs Blue and Gypsy Blue which feature (on the album). As a listener, I like my albums to consist of songs which have different characters, personalities and emotions. I like accessible music so there’s no Revolution no. 9 on there. There is punk, funk, rock, sweetness and quirkiness. And those are not my words, but I think they are fairly accurate! The aim is to get it out in the first half of next year.”
And that diversity in style is influenced by a wide range of musical influences, from Lexy being “a self-confessed Beatlemaniac,” to Regina Spektor, whose ethnic identity and culture bleeds into her music, Debbie Harry, her dad’s love or Horslips and Buddy Holly, to her sister’s binging on Britpop and grunge.
And when it comes to what inspires her music, Lexy explains: “I’ve always been a performer and interpreter of other people’s music as I grew up playing piano and violin. The reason that I started writing myself was I found myself living alone and I had all of these thoughts but no-one to tell them to in the heat of the moment. I used to write poems as a kid and loved creative writing, so I guess I put my skills together and out came my own music.
“For me, songwriting is a form of expression and capturing a feeling, moment or making a statement. There are different influences behind each song. For instance, one might be based on a movie, one might be based on outrage at some great injustice in my life or that of someone else, and one might start writing itself as I am walking around a place, people watching and I see something worth writing about. I guess people do this short-form in their daily lives by updating their status on Facebook, Instagram or Tweeting. Generally speaking, my themes include lust, love and rejection – the classics (with) a bit of social commentary sprinkled in for good measure!”
You can catchy Lexytron live at The Lyttleton Arms in Camden tomorrow (7 November), and at The Plough in Bloomsbury on Sunday (11 November). More info on those gigs is here.
So check out her debut single on Friday, and stay tuned for plenty more from Lexytron very soon. As Lexy adds: “I would like people to know that I am a very friendly musician who does not bite and I invite people to get in touch with me if they like what they hear. If you want me to play in your garage, weather permitting, I will try to make it happen. If you want to use my song somewhere, ask me! I’ve been asked by a fan to have one of my songs I’m Not A Disco used for a dance competition she is entering. She is trying to work out a jive routine to it, so I hope it works and if it does, that will be really cool. I never anticipated that song would end up in a situation like that – it is an anthemic electro-pop empowerment song, but it can only be a compliment!”