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Friday, April 19, 2024

Heartbreak is at the centre of Alex Coley & Afterlove’s new album, The Arc

The Arc is out now and available on most digital platforms.

Halifax-based indie folk/rock band Alex Coley & Afterlove released their debut album, The Arc, on February 28 and will celebrate with an album release party at The Sanctuary Arts Centre on March 2.

In this Q&A, we learn more from Alex Coley about their music and the new album, which is available now on Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music and Bandcamp. Physical copies of the album can be purchased at Obsolete Records, Renegade Records, and Old Town Records.

You can also learn more about Alex Coley & Afterlove at alexcoleymusic.ca or follow them on Instagram and YouTube.

This interview has been edited.

Please introduce yourself and the band to our readers.

My name is Alex Coley of Alex Coley and Afterlove. I grew up in Halifax and live on the South Shore now. I’ve been writing and performing for a long time, but this is the first serious project I have been a part of, and I am so proud and grateful to be sharing it now. Our album, The Arc, was released on February 28, and we will be celebrating the release with an album release party at the Sanctuary Arts Centre in Dartmouth. Sharing this work with my friends, family, and community feels really special.

How do you describe your new album, The Arc?

The Arc is out now and available on most digital platforms.
The Arc is out now and available on most digital platforms.

The Arc is a story of heart during the pandemic. It’s melancholic and confessional, and we hope to evoke big feelings of nostalgia and introspection. It’s meant to tell the story of heartbreak through the full story arc – hence The Arc – and takes listeners through feelings of denial and acceptance, grief and despair, discouragement and futility, anger and resentment, and then hope and resilience. I am a folk songwriter at my core, but with the band alongside me, I have found an exciting sound somewhere in the world of indie-folk and indie rock.

Why The Arc as the title?

The red thread that runs through this album is a story arc. We wanted our title to communicate our intentions and ask listeners to see the story running through the album. I love the artistry of a full album, and we think that listening to our album in full gives you a different experience than listening to individual songs. You will find a depth or deepening of understanding in listening to the album in full – and we hope our title is an invitation to do so.
Alex Coley & Afterlove
Alex Coley & Afterlove

What was the inspiration for the album? Is there a theme?

This is an album about heartbreak, so the main inspiration is the feelings I was having through the songwriting process. Throw that into a global pandemic with isolation, boredom, and a whole lot of time, and I had a bit of a perfect – if uncomfortable – storm for songwriting. Living alone in rural Nova Scotia made this a difficult time for me, but it also gave me the space to immerse myself in my feelings and the songwriting process. The album was also really inspired by the landscapes that kept me company through this difficult time. The imagery from our first single, Courage and Crime, points to that – watching Crescent Beach from the road was a real source of comfort – and you can see the tall grass, lapping waves, and the magic of phosphorescence in my lyrics.

What is your favourite song to perform off the album, and why?

We have a dynamic set, and I love playing different songs for different reasons. It’s great to have people dancing through Didn’t Know It’d Make a Difference, but I think my favourite song to perform at the moment is Silent in My Car. We’re still new to the whole music thing, so seeing an audience sing-along is really meaningful to me. There is also something about Silent in My Car that makes me feel a bit more comfortable. It means I can give more of myself to the song than others.

What’s next for Alex Coley & Afterlove?

I will take a well-deserved break in March and April, and then I hope to return with a renewed sense of excitement. We have a follow-up album already recorded and will be releasing that throughout 2024. It will be an acoustic version of The Arc, where the intention is to share these songs as they were originally intended to be sung, just me and my guitar. We will include four songs that we had hoped to include in The Arc but didn’t quite fit. We also have a long list of original songs we would love to bring to life, so expect another album from us soon.

We look forward to touring this August but are still awaiting confirmation from festivals before we release those dates.

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