Photo by Landon Edwards
Nashville artist Alexander Wren’s latest single carries the strange title “The Earth is Flat.” Released on September 18, it’s from a forthcoming album due out some time next year. You can give this fine song a listen here. Co-written with Nashville’s Lauren Weintraub, Wren’s soft and sensitive vocal rides across a multitude of mixed musical sounds while delivering its sardonic message. Says Wren: “I kept mulling over that sort of situation in my head where it would be easier for someone to convince you that the earth is flat than to convince you that they still love you.”
Blessed with such an exquisite singing voice, it was no surprise that Wren gave “American Idol” a shot before making his way to a singer-songwriter career in Music City. After getting close to making it on “Idol” and releasing two indie EPs, Wren is ready to deliver his first full-length LP.
It’s so sad to keep seeing blank “tour” pages at an artist website and Alexander’s is no different. But like others during the current crisis, you can regularly watch Alexander livestreaming through his Facebook page. Thanks, Alexander, for visiting 11 Questions and we look forward to your record next year.
Where are you from originally, when did you move to Nashville and why?
I’m a Hoosier from Fort Wayne, IN. (Cue “Back Home Again in Indiana.”) I moved to Nashville in 2014 straight after high school graduation. Indiana was a great start, but I’ve always known it wouldn’t be the end. It helped that I had a brother here already who had moved to Nashville maybe 18 years ago now. He had started working in the music business, and NY or LA weren’t even on my radar at that point, so Nash it was!
What are the first and the last records you bought, and where did you buy them? Were they CD, vinyl or digital?
First record I bought. Yikes. I don’t even know. Probably some Hardcore band (Midwest, you know?). It was definitely a CD though. The last record I bought was a digital download of Townes Van Zandt’s Rear View Mirror. First vinyl I bought was Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago (Real original, right? Ha ha!). Last record I bought would probably be Conor Oberst’s Ruminations.
First and last live concerts that you’ve seen?
I think Santana was my first concert. Ha ha! I’m really getting vulnerable here. Last concert was The Basement’s anniversary show back in March before this COVID thing got out of control.
Whose star should be added to the Music City Walk of Fame?
Easy. Irving Berlin or Randy Newman.
Where do you go in Nashville for coffee and pizza?
Most often Barista Parlor in The Gulch. I have a great friend who works there. My favorite coffee shop in town though is Bongo Belmont. Talk about a patio. Pizza, the fancier pizza gets, the less I’m inclined to like it. I live right off Nolensville Road. So whatever place is open and delivers at night. That’s probably the call. I will say, though, DeSano is pretty damn good.
What’s your favorite record to ever come out of Nashville?
Yikes. I mean, you can’t really pin down one. I will say though, Justin Townes Earle’s Harlem River Blues might be a legitimate contender for favorite. And that maybe sounds like a cop-out because it’s relatively recent, within the past ten years or so. But there really is a timelessness, a magic, an undercurrent, to that record that isn’t easily found. Another recent and amazing record out of Nashville would be Dan Layus’ Dangerous Things. What a record.
Where’s the best place to eat late night after a show?
I mean, does anyone say anything other than Dino’s?
The Bluebird calls and asks you to host an “In the Round.” Pick three local songwriters to join you.
That’s tough. I mean, there are so many people that I look up to in this town. Just three top of mind would be Carl Anderson, Jake Wesley Rogers, and Jordy Searcy.
What are your favorite music venues to play in town?
This might be an unpopular opinion, but Douglas Corner is probably one of my favorite listening rooms in town. It feels almost sacred there in a peculiar way.
Name a musician who you’d like to see move here?
Man, I don’t know. That’s hard because everyone has their own place/pace they enjoy. I will say anyone who is looking to be a student of songwriting should come here. If you’re into entertaining, go to LA. If you’re trying to make avant-garde stuff, go to NY. If you’re trying to write a song that speaks to the soul, come to Nashville. You’ll learn here.
Finally, what’s in your musical future?
These days, being on lockdown, it’s the perfect time to work on this first record of mine. “The Earth is Flat,” my latest single, is the first release off this record. It’s really a product of the songs that have accrued over seven years of being in Nashville, a mosaic, really. It’s all there: love, religion, social justice, coming of age, inspirations, aspirations; you name it! And I feel as if it will be a great notch under my belt as far as maturity; it’s been the biggest feat yet.
Really, looking to the future, my sights are set on just that. Doing what I love, writing and recording and touring (whenever that’s a thing again). You know, I used to put so much pressure on myself to do all the little things like networking, social media, going to shows, etc., that I really got lost in the whole business side of things. And that’s why COVID has been mostly a positive experience for me. It’s forced me to step back, take a long, hard look at things, and make a change for the better. Now, I’m doing what I love, making records. I’m not worrying about branding and posting and stuff like that. What artist gets into music to spend all their time on obsessive marketing?
Single number two will release soon. Before the end of the year!