Fresh off her recent debut, alternative artist Alex Whiler releases her empowering single "Into the Fire." Being classically trained in Opera and Jazz, her haunting yet powerful vocals resemble the likes of Lana Del Rey and Hayley Williams. Finally, putting the time into releasing her own music, Alex Whiler's musical journey has only just begun. With her recent debut single "Into the Fire," Alex Whiler tells a unique story of where she and her husband traveled 280 miles into the Pacific Crest Trail, only to be distraught physically and emotionally. Finely crafting her lyrics to tell her massive story, "Into the Fire," provides a sense of empowerment and conquering your inner demons.
"Into the Fire" opens with emotional piano chords and serene electric guitar, moving towards Alex Whiler's crisp and soothing vocals. Reaching the whole sounding chorus, the track's instrumentation builds to a compelling sound through different melodies and rhythms. Alex Whiler's sincere songwriting is another intriguing aspect of "Into the Fire," through dynamic vocals from angelic falsetto to haunting delivery, she sings powerful lyrics like, "Toss, and I turn will I live or burn? God knows, I'm walking into the fire". Keeping us locked in with her authentic and raw emotion that resonates deep within the soul, it's evident that Alex Whiler's debut single "Into the Fire" serves nothing but passion persistence.
Listen to "Into the Fire" here.
Hey Alex Whiler, welcome to BuzzMusic! We’re very excited to feature your debut single “Into the Fire”. What made “Into the Fire” lead the way of your artistic journey, and why did you want it to be the first song your audience hears from Alex Whiler?
Thank you so much for having me and sharing my music! “Into the Fire” is really special to me because I wrote it out of a hopeful place and that’s why I wanted it to be the first single off of my EP. For me, hope usually doesn’t look super happy and cheery. It’s going quietly inside and knowing what needs to be done. Even if I’m dreading it, deep down I know that I can do it and that I have to, in order to stay true to myself. This song really walks through that and I hope it can leave listeners a different, perhaps more full picture of what hope and resilience can look like, especially in our current circumstance.
From a musical standpoint, “Into the Fire” shows a lot of different parts of me that I’m excited for people to hear. There’s some driving alt-rock builds, ballad vocals, some jazz chords, and angsty lyrics-- so pretty much me in audio form. I feel like it’s a good introduction.
Speaking on your journey along the Pacific Crest Trail, did you have an “Ah Ha!” moment where you knew you had to express your feelings through the medium of music, and create “Into the Fire”?
Well, I brought a ukulele on the trail with me, only knowing a few chords, and on one particularly tough day, I walked by myself and just took my time. I was inspired by a song by the Staves and pieced together lyrics and a melody just telling myself to keep walking, keep on steady. I realized I had just written a song and had that little kid giddy feeling--I was smiling for the first time in days. So that did feel like an “ah-ha” moment and it gave me the push I needed to keep going, at least for a few more days until we got into town. After I left the trail, I spare-bedroom hopped and drove for Lyft for the next three months while my husband kept hiking and that’s when I wrote most of the songs on my EP, including “Into the Fire.” I knew I wanted to get back on the trail at some point just to end it on my own terms and that’s how “Into the Fire” came to me.
Now that Alex Whiler is beginning to put out music of your own with the release of “Into the Fire”, could you expand on how you went about finding lyrics and imagery that portray your heavy emotions from walking the Pacific Crest Trail?
Oof, such heavy emotions, yeah. I mean I was completely broken--physically, emotionally, spiritually. You know, there are these just huge things in life that defeat us or seem insurmountable, and the trail was that on a whole new level for me. It felt like I had faced a monster and after it guzzled me up, I was pissed. So I wanted to heal and recuperate, and then get stronger and more sure of myself so I could go back and prove to myself that I could beat it on my own terms. And that’s where lyrics like “You never look me in the eye, I always feel like I gotta fly, but this time I’m gonna fight” come from, in the bridge. There were a fair amount of wildfires that year too and being at home while my partner was out there trying to dodge them was pretty intense, so fires were on my mind a lot as I wrote the song, obviously. It felt like a physically and emotionally dangerous thing that I was just determined to conquer.
Speaking on your well-crafted debut single “Into the Fire”, how did Alex Whiler want the track to resonate and sound to your listeners, from instrumentation to lyricism?
Oh man, I love this question. You know, going back on the trail for 10 days was really healing and satisfying for me. I had so much trepidation and anger going back on and was honestly dreading it, even though it was completely my choice. So that’s where the drudging drum beat in the first verse comes from like you’re dragging your feet; but you’re doing it, you’re moving forward. Then the pre-choruses is where your curiosity and determination take over “I toss and I turn, will I live or burn? Oh, I’ve gotta know” and that takes you into the chorus where there’s even a little bit of fun in the “ooh’s” and you’re really in the game at that point.
I think the most impactful element is at the end in the last chorus when everything drops out and it’s just vocals and piano. It’s a definitive moment where you get to decide how it’s going to go--am I going to let this thing get me down twice? It’s the moment you realize that everything is about perspective and we all have the choice to see failure as final or use it as fuel. And that’s when the chords shift to major and the new vocal lines come in and there’s the really resounding guitar outro and it all just fits into place.
What can we expect to see from you throughout 2020?
I’m super excited to be releasing a few more singles leading up to my EP in July! I, like every other artist, have had to reimagine how to release music and stay connected with people through social distancing, so I will mainly be on Instagram, Youtube, and Patreon for the foreseeable future. Come hang!