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Alexander Stewart's 'bleeding heart'

edits by Dessie Jackson, photo by baeth

Alexander Stewart grew up with music all around him as a child in Timmins, Ontario, even going into the studio his father owned when he was a child. Alexander found his voice in high school when he started a YouTube channel where he uploaded covers of popular songs. He’s since amassed an impressive 6.2 million followers on TikTok, as well as 5 million monthly listeners on Spotify.

bleeding heart is a stunning anthology of heartbreak and hurt; going through the pain of a break-up, missing the person you thought they were, and dealing with inner demons before coming out in the end and hoping that you’re someone that your younger self would be proud to become.

Starting the album off soft and slow, "said so" is about a relationship ending because the other person moved on without really saying anything; they just ghosted. He figured it out from seeing them out with someone else on their social media feed. 

"day i die" is the worst of heartbreak, knowing that you’re the only one hurt by the ending of the relationship and that fear that you’ll look up in 10 years still hung up on that heartbreak while the other person is moved on and happy. A heartbreak that you swear is going to haunt you until the day you die.

Picking up the pace a bit with fun and upbeat "broken by you," a song about embracing the coming heartbreak and spending one more night together. You accept that it's coming when the sun comes up, even if you don't want it to, and you’d do it all over again, even knowing how it ends.

"blame’s on me" slows us back down. A song about recognizing that you’re usually the one to get your heart broken, and you didn't realize you were pulling away and causing pain. It’s an apology to the person who tried their best to love him when he was struggling for causing the pain he did and how he hopes the best for that person.

"all these years" talks about how it feels to run into an old ex for the first time in a while, and that punch to the gut when you realize that you’re still in love with them and how much you missed being with them to the point where you’d rather they lie to you and tell you that they’ve missed you too.

Don’t let the upbeat, synthy sound of "how dare you" fool you: it's very much an angry 'F U' song about a toxic ex who wasted his time and led him on. It's about being past the sad part of the breakup and just being mad and thinking, "How dare you."

"reflection" is a deep song about Alexander’s struggles with body dysmorphia and self-image. He’s said it’s "by far the most important song on the album."

The viral sensation "i wish you cheated" has some of my personal favorite vocals on the album. This song is a beautiful ballad about wishing there was a reason to be mad over a breakup, but nobody did anything wrong. The relationship ended and things were weirdly fine; it felt wrong to just be over with no anger or hurt.

"strangers" is about how hard it is to go from having so many memories and intimate moments with someone to never speaking again. 

If you've ever been in a relationship where even your friends know that it's over, "easier said than done" might hit a little close to home. You know it's time to end the relationship and free yourself and so does everyone around you, but it's easier said than done.

Probably the most heartbreaking song on the album, "if you only knew" is about struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts but not wanting to tell anyone or ask for help because you don't want to be a burden to the people around you. Alexander said he wrote this song because he almost felt guilty being so outspoken on mental health things while never sharing his own personal struggles. 

"proud of me" finishes off the album with a nostalgic, peaceful feeling. He’s reminiscing on his younger years and the person he was and hoping that his younger self would be proud of his current self. 

bleeding heart is a beautiful album full of so much pain and growth. Alexander Stewart is incredibly talented as both a lyricist and a musician, and I'm so excited to see what he does next.

See Alexander on tour in the UK and Europe this spring!

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