Alex Vargas has successfully built on his capacity for raw, vulnerable songwriting that is perhaps best showcased by his 2017 hit single, ‘Shackled Up’, where he speaks with relatable ease about a difficult relationship and its breakdown. His new record showcases his trademark soaring vocals, bu with a newfound, clean-cut optimism as evidenced on the album’s first single, ‘Yougazer’. With more of a pop and jazz-inflected bent, the track projects unabashed confidence as he proclaims, “Love me anyway”.
Opening with a grander sound, the album’s first track, ‘Mama I’ve Been Dying’, sees Vargasspeak about finding his way after being “completely lost”. The following songs detail subject matter that he has never delved into before, such as life after the honeymoon stage, having children, and reconnecting with his father after 10 years. It’s a wonderfully open album, which perfectly showcases this new stage of Vargas’ career and life. As he says so eloquently about the song, ‘Pickles: “It’s about weekends with my family and a romantic view of what days look like. I wrote it late one night when they were asleep. Ironically, the nex morning was fucking chaos.”
Speaking about his previous 2019 album, Ego (Super/Trip/Maniac) and reclaiming his happiness, Vargas says: “My last record was put together just after my sister had died, and I became very introspective. It was made out of a necessity, but afterwards, I wanted to do a different album, and turn myself towards the crowd.” In creating it, Vargas broke out of hi traditional chord structures and delved into the sounds of the 60s and 70s, which naturally shifted his approach to songwriting. “I’m allowing myself a bit more colour,” he says. “I’ve found a sense of having fun with music that I’ve not really had since I first started songwriting as a carefree teenager.” In short, it’s evident that this is an artist who has found his place and is confident about where he’s headed next.
His background in theatre has been prevalent throughout his career in music, an now, on-screen too. The Copenhagen-based musician will be appearing in an upcoming episode of the hit television series, Ted Lasso. Hand picked by Jason Sudeikis himself, Vargas didn’t hesitate at the opportunity to make appear as a busker in the upcoming series three. “It was so much fun,” comments Vargas, “and here’s the thing, I was already a fan of the show. I was really excited about the new season even before I knew I was going to be in it. Plus, I got to sing ‘Hey Jude’ all day.” The part, which sees him have interaction with the cast, wasn’t too nervewracking for Vargas either. “I’ve done a little bit of acting as a kid, and I’ve actually been studying with an actor for the past two years because I wanted to get back into it, so it was a very comfortable experience.”