When we last heard from Alex McArtor (last November to be specific), her single “Touch” had just been released—a song which she wrote when she was just 15. She’s now still just 17, but her obvious maturity as an artist is nothing short of eye-opening.
Her latest, “Biggest Fan” (which BlackBook premieres here), was written even earlier; in fact, it was one of the first songs she ever penned. But the confidence and intensity it exhibits leaves one wondering just what may lie ahead for such a rare, yet thrillingly raw talent.
Led by echo-laden guitar strumming and moody atmospherics, it brings to mind the likes of Mazzy Star and Patsy Cline, with a bit of the soul of Stevie Nicks haunting the proceedings. And as McArtor viscerally intones, “Starry eyes, she’s hypnotized / Wants to stay with him for the night,” it’s hard to not to feel a chill creeping its way up the spine. It’s also a touchingly earnest homage to the youthful yet naive adoration of musical heroes.
“I wrote it at the age when you’re riding the wave of naivety,” she explains, “at the height of your fantasy and romanticism for new experiences and young love…basically, the eclipse of the age of innocence. People on stages [seemed] as if they were immortal; and totally entranced by their music and persona, [it was] like they were singing just for us. The song ‘Superstar’ by The Carpenters heavily inspired me.”
But she is also quick to point out the pitfalls of idol worship.
“Sometimes people or things are better left untouched,” she observes, “for the sake of not killing the magic, or the fantasy that surrounds them…the mystery of the unknown. Now, when I close my eyes and hear this song, it takes me back to when everything was new…before the bitter sweetness of reality crept in.”
Her Heart Talk EP was released in the fall of 2019, and a full album is on the way sometime this year.