For Abraham Alexander, the last two years have been, to put it mildly, a real rollercoaster.
After an acclaimed debut EP in 2019, the Fort Worth-based singer-songwriter was about to release his full-length debut in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic upended everything.
As 2021 draws to a close, however, he finds himself poised yet again to have a mammoth year.
In early December, the Greece-born Alexander signed a record deal with the Nashville-based Dualtone Records (home to The Lumineers, Shakey Graves and Kathleen Edwards, among others). He will release his first full-length album nationally in 2022 and will open for fellow rising stars and Texans Black Pumas during the band’s pair of early February dates at the legendary Ryman Auditorium. (Full disclosure: Alexander is managed by former KXT program director Amy Miller.)
“It’s crazy, man — I feel like I was in the Upside Down last year,” Alexander said, laughing, from Los Angeles, where he was preparing to head into a recording session. “I’m on cloud nine right now. … It’s crazy, but I think it was for the best.”
Rather than dust off what he would have released in 2020, Alexander has gone back in, dismantled and reworked what will become his as-yet-untitled debut album, to better reflect all he’s lived through in the interim.
“Some of the stuff got scrapped,” Alexander said. “I was like, ‘This isn’t me anymore.’ I’m a believer that music should be an indicator of the times, and we’ve lived some crazy things over the last few months. I want that to really ramp up my record, to be alive to that and be a timestamp to that, but also allow people to jump forward, past the pain.”
Before he can tackle all that awaits him in 2022, Alexander has a couple more local gigs to perform.
First up, he’ll appear Thursday at the Thompson Hotel in downtown Dallas, alongside the Booker T. Washington High School for the Visual and Performing Arts’ Gospel Ensemble. Alexander was nominated by Hyatt, the hotel’s ownership, to curate a line-up of “emerging artists” as part of its “Culture Lives Here” campaign.
“The Thompson Hotel is one of my favorite spots — I love the atmosphere they evoke so effortlessly,” Alexander said.
After choosing Brandon Marcel, Remy Reilly and Joey McClellan to perform, the Thompson asked if he’d be interested in jumping on stage, and Alexander didn’t hesitate. He’ll be working with string arrangements from Becki Howard, who will also perform with Alexander and the ensemble.
Then, on New Year’s Eve, Alexander will headline a free show at the Rustic: “That’s gonna be a wild one,” he said. “I’m still trying to prepare myself for that.”
Preston Jones is a freelance writer and regular contributor to KXT.
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