The Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter has released three EPs in advance of his official debut album, Alexander Fairchild Vol. 1, which will be released in June. Alexander took time out from touring and recording to grace us with a list of his Desert Island Discs.
James Taylor Greatest Hits Volume 1 : I once read an article in GQ that called men that love James Taylor “pussies”, or something to that effect. Whatever. JT is a gateway to country, and I fell in love with American melody and acoustic music via this all-time album. The album is a master-class in songwriting, and I love the way he mixes country, folk, and soul.
Stevie Wonder Fulfillingness’ First Finale: I love the uber-melodic Wonder on a jazz quest. I didn’t know that songs could be this avant-garde yet melodically structured until I heard it. Creepin’ blew my mind when I first heard it (and still does), as well as Bird of Beauty and Smile Please. Stevie sounds like he’s having fun making this record. Are the Strokes and Killers the only guys that still have fun? Big contributors to the craft need to have fun again, at least every once in a while.
George Harrison All Things Must Pass: So many songs, so many incredible vibes, such a journey as an album. Harrison is one of my favourite guitar players because he plays so melodically; it’s almost like I can hear him singing the part, like Oscar Peterson humming along to his right hand. I love country the most when it’s tempered by folk and rock. That’s what this album does so incredibly well.
Various Artists West Side Story Soundtrack: I love these songs and the scope of the songs and the contrasts on this record. The struggle of the streets, the struggle of sharing a city with others, the struggle of love, the gut-busting comedy, the lyrics and melodies and score in general. It’s just so entirely monstrous and awesome. I have a love for jazz colouring that can somehow be bridged by repetitive and structured melody that can be grasped on first listen by a child. West Side Story Soundtrack is ankle deep and fathoms deep in that regard.
The Beach Boys Pet Sounds: Genius, happy, beautiful, and easy-listening. I don’t just like these songs because three generations of my family can sit in a room together at Christmas and belt them out in their entirety; no, it goes much deeper than that, in that they are literally joyful. The Beach Boys aren’t a boy band, they’re an all-boy church choir. It’s a spiritual experience. You get lifted somehow in your soul when you play this stuff.
Honorable mentions: Beatles Discography, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Burt Bacharach, Disney movies.