Lex Land (nee “Alexa,” after Prince’s Parade B-Side: “Alexa de Paris”) was brought to life on a Thursday Christmas evening at 9:01 pm in the late eighties to a cosmetologist/karaoke-queen mother and a microbiologist/punk-rocker father in Orange County, California. Throughout the fairly transient beginning of that life she discovered that music suited her talents and passions better than any other hobby or art. The opportunity to appreciate or share the ephemeral beauty of a singular moment, to express the overwhelming inexpressible- singing and songwriting, and her love for choral and chamber music, were the perfect conduits for her sensationalistic impulsion and consuming emotional intensity.
Since the time of her career’s inception, at age 19, Lex Land has managed to achieve relevance in the almost endless sea of female singer-songwriters. Her songs have been heard prominently on television shows such as “Private Practice”, “Castle”, and “One Tree Hill”. She was invited to perform on late night television on Last Call with Carson Daly, and over the radio airwaves on KCRW’s venerable “Morning Becomes Eclectic”. Fueling these events was a fair amount of hubbub surrounding the release of Lex’s debut album, Orange Days on Lemon Street, in March of 2008. Orange Days held the #1 spot on the iTunes’ Singer-Songwriter chart for weeks following its release, and proceeded to earn “Best of 2008” honors from iTunes as well.
Initially aspiring to a career in opera, Land began her technical study of voice as an adolescent and pursued it through a short stint at University. Shortly thereafter, her other interests in songwriting, guitar-playing, and otherwise performing “pop” music eventually took first place in her priorities. Through a series of odd-chances, her voice caught the ear of Producer Shannon Edgar, who also discovered other young saplings such as Joshua James and Rick Alvin Schaier (Alvin Band). This ultimately led to the recording and releasing of her aforementioned debut, Orange Days on Lemon Street.
For most of 2008 and 2009, Lex spent her time traveling to support the release of Orange Days. At home in Los Angeles, she was a regular at the Hotel Café, and also had the good fortune of touring with artists such as Justin Townes Earle, Meiko, Paolo Nutini, and Gary Jules. She has performed multiple slots at SXSW, and has made several cross-country excursions with her rotating cast of backing musicians.
After too long, in her opinion, braving the anonymous badlands of Los Angeles, the California native decided to relocate to Austin, Texas in 2009. It was there that she truly blossomed as an artist and adult, and also where she wrote the rest of the songs that would complete her sophomore album, entitled “Were My Sweetheart to Go…”.
Recorded in Los Angeles, WMSTG was engineered and mixed by Todd Burke (Jack Johnson, Ben Harper) in the legendary Studio B at Sound Factory near Hollywood and Vine. With a veteran cast of studio musicians (who have worked with everyone from John Mayer to Josh Groban), the album features Sean Hurley and Billy Mohler on bass, Aaron Sterling and Craig Macintyre on drums, Peter Adams on keys, with Lance Konnerth and the album’s producer, Edgar, on guitar.
The pensive songwriter, known for ditties of lost or unrequited love, takes a more introspective look the second time around. As she herself describes, “The original idea for the title Were My Sweetheart to Go… was borne from those burning questions inside you when you give yourself to someone and get comfy. The “What If?” What if all your doubts are true? What if you are as undeserving as you think you might be in your lowliest of moments? What if your love were to leave … then what?”
Continuing the unique style founded on Orange Days that critics called “a fantastic mix of honey-sweet folk and dense, beat-driven folk-rock” (-Womenfolk), the songs on WMSTG range from the 60’s-pop-infused, “Oh My!”, to more jazz-standard-tinged numbers like “Someone New On My Mind” and “If I”. WMSTG also goes farther into genre-blurring territory with the fiery alterna-rock number “How Well You Do,” and its “Havana” teetering on the edge of electronica. This collection continues the eclecticism developed on Orange Days while staying true to the artist’s identity. At front and center, always, is Land’s striking voice, allowing the subtle emotion and meaning within the lyric to become the focal point of the music.
With the new record’s upcoming Summer 2011 release fast approaching, the singer fills her time with jazz engagements, practicing, part-time cashiering… and, as always, seeking an appropriate partner to (stay and) share a more stable and happier variation of what has been, so far, a tumultuous, albeit interesting, life. For whatever its denouement, Lex Land has, thus far, certainly lived.