Review Fix chats with singer/songwriter David D’Alessio about his work, NYC experience and so much more.
Review Fix: What makes the NYC music scene unique to you?
David D’Alessio: It’s an incredible scene. There’s every talent under the sun here and I’m constantly blown away. I think on any given night, Rockwood Music Hall- where we play – and that’s not even one of the big places to play- you’ll find people who are in their early, mid or late careers and they’re all incredible folks that you never heard of. I love playing out in New York because it exposes me to so much great music.
Review Fix: What’s the hardest part of being a NYC musician?
D’Alessio: Paying New York rent, honestly. The cost of living here is much greater than it was in Tucson (my old stomping grounds). It’s always been a balancing act between your day job and your music career. And now- for me at least- I’ve added my family into that equation. New York tests your resolve in a profound way. It’s good for really stubborn people like me.
Review Fix: Why is this single special to you?
D’Alessio: Thematically it’s got some ideas I lean into a lot- being wrapped up in love, feeling young, and being free. All those things seemed to come together naturally in a summer song and it was just so easy. Like it was always in my mind and always will be. The beach was a big part of my childhood and to this day it’s my favorite place to vacation. It’s literally like the title says- there’s nowhere else I want to be.
Review Fix: What does it do that none of your other tracks do?
D’Alessio: Oh man that’s an out of body question! I mean I think it breaks away from some of the seriousness that was on my last EP. It’s more playful and light than I’ve been in a long time and I don’t know if that’s me or just the mood I was in but we just ran with it. I also incorporated some crazy vocal stuff I learned from my wife’s a cappella group. I thought it sounded killer so I made a whole arrangement around it. It was really freeing to just be silly in the studio and watch it stick. I usually take recording very seriously. Probably too seriously.
Review Fix: Do you think this track could have been possible without COVID?
D’Alessio: It’s a celebration of summer so it’ll outlive COVID…hopefully! But I don’t know I would have gotten to the fuck-it-all feelings I had if there weren’t all these rules for so long. And just to be clear, I don’t think Americans really had the most severe of lock-downs. But the fear, the fighting and the uncertainty seemed to pile up into an anxious mess that I couldn’t avoid. Everyone was forced into some sort of pandemic perception because it was always in your face…or mask <laughs> …if you wore one!
Review Fix: If you had to define this track by one set of lyrics in it, what would they be, and why?
D’Alessio: Oh I love the bridge lyrics: “You and me/Underneath the blue sky/young and free/rolling in our beach ride/gonna be/screaming with the windows down forever. ” It’s kinda how I feel about being in summer and being in love. It’s got the immortal quality that summer embodies for me- like you can go anywhere, do anything. Why shouldn’t I feel that way forever??
Review Fix: What’s next?
D’Alessio: That’s an amazingly tough question to answer right now. I’m in the midst of another track and have another on cue. But my tastes are shifting and I’m opening my ears to all kinds of new artists and I’m just like “how do I get that into my sound?!” So I don’t know. I’m always a hundred percent behind what I put out there but the bridge that takes me from an idea to a song is treacherous and subject to collapse. After I cut these next two tunes I might go back to my shed and just experiment for a bit. I think falling hard, failing hard is part of getting to my best work… <laughs> hopefully we’ll still be friends after!
Review Fix: Anything else you’d like to add?
D’Alessio: I’m always looking for the next evolution of David D’Alessio. But who is that? You can’t know yourself unless you try. I’m trying to get away from getting hung up on making my songs perfect and just doing more. I was listening back to some of my early, early stuff in Let’s English and I was like “damn that was so cool and fun” even though I had no idea what I was doing. Like literally learning music theory as I went. And then I paired that against what I’m doing now and I was like, “there’s really so little difference.” So I realized as musicians we’re always on this continuum of self and that stops when we stop. When we stop expressing, creating, our little band of light in the spectrum of musical visions, ends. And I’m raring to go.