Alex Edwards dives into the awe-inspiring tales and inspirations behind each track of his striking new prog-folk album, Freedom Fiesta.
A captivating follow-up to his EP, Flown Frosted, Alex Edwards’ latest offering, Freedom Fiesta is a dynamic, transporting, collaboration-filled nine-track album.
In celebration of the new release, we catch up with the Brisbane-hailing artist once more, as he leads Happy through the captivating journey that led to the fruition of each track showcased on the Freedom Fiesta LP.
#1 – Clio feat. Trav Jenkins
This song is about goddess Clio, the Greek muse of history. She steals from Cupid in her vicious appraisal of other mythological narratives to her own ends. Clio reminds us that she keeps a distance from the mortal muse-victim, and ultimately, fears them! Truly, this is the melodic undertaking that represents the love that can be conjured by a beautiful, powerful and famous goddess. Featuring ex-Osaka Punch and Brisbane jazz hero Trav Jenkins, the song connotes a Zappa-esque journey into an adapted Hungarian minor juxtaposition against pop’s classic seventh chords.
#2 – Biddy, Aboriginal feat Geoff Fabila, Blaq Carrie
Written about Alex’s great-great-grandmother – an Aboriginal woman of the Wanaruah tribe in the Muswellbrook region – Biddy, Aboriginal tells the tale of this figure’s cultural malaise at the hand of an Australian-English husband. Featuring QMA-winning urban artist, Blaq Carrie’s freestyling capacities and Geoff Fabila (Tjaka didgeridoo player and son of famous Australian didgeridoo player Adrian Fabila) on the didgeridoo, the tune also doesn’t pull any punches against former Australian Prime Minister John Howard, who is satirised for the historically racist statement, “How can a nation make a treaty with itself?” That’s why we have the term First Nations, isn’t it?
#3 – Thalia, feat Trav Jenkins
The muse of comedy, goddess Thalia, taunts her subject humorously about how her abilities to inhabit his mind render him never the author again! Full of goofy attempts to win her heart, despite being a human being – and not an immortal being! – the protagonist ebbs and flows in their rapture and ruse that they might present ever the possibility that they could ever be enough for someone so beautiful. Former bandmate and guitar hero, Trav Jenkins returns to provide the eccentric outro’s equally eccentric guitar solo.
#4 – I Have Schizophrenia feat. Dorothy Daisy, Blaq Carrie, Sean FitzGerald, Trav Jenkins
In a cathartic prog-folk soup, Alex informs us that he has struggled deeply over the years – both with religious hallucinations and torturous subjective horror – via schizophrenia. With fellow musicians heartily in flank, he bravely summarises his life as easy to dismiss as a schizophrenic cliché. Elvis-acting contribution, Dorothy Daisy provides the counterpart romantic subplot; how could a person with schizophrenia maintain their relationship? Full of nudity – a metaphor for the baring of the soul – in its film clip, I Have Schizophrenia is an epic meeting place for not just Blaq Carrie and Trav Jenkins again, but British ex-pat troubadour and Jose Gonzales competitor, Sean FitzGerald who sings along mightily. Credit must go to Stevie Mac for his excellent piano work, which features in not just this song, but many on Freedom Fiesta.
#5 – Terpsichore feat. Rebecca King
Rebecca King’s Taylor Swift-esque vocals remind us that Alex is a songwriter’s songwriter, since he lends his composition to another voice entirely in this track. The subject? The muse-goddess of dance, Terpsichore. You can ring-around-a-rosy, as your feet tap to the wistful and sentimental perspective of the goddess herself – in her tantalising withdrawal of emotions and states from her prey (which all beg coaxing into being). I’ve saved up money to tithe, to Terpsichore – it’s sure that this stomping counter-intuitively modal piano sojourn is an emblem of the way that the person can do no more than give in to the throes of the goddess.
#6 – Calliope feat. Luda Meshkova
Russian lead vocalist of the folk-metal band, Felidae returns to Alex’s collaborations in Freedom Fiesta to duet with him in an ode to Calliope, the goddess of epic poetry. The unstitched long gash, the garish red for poets brash! How truly to be humiliated by an intelligence greater than one’s own! Luda’s theatrical lashes of Muscovian empathy with the mused person remind us that we are lucky to pen the thing ourselves, rather than be subjected to the tough gauntlets of undying women.
View this post on Instagram
#7 – Aceso’s Bluebird
While not one of the 9 famous muses, Aceso’s reputation as a healing goddess places her in the greater pantheon of Greek mythological figures. Without any collaborations to speak of with this tune, Alex returns to a simple chord progression for the more traditional singer-songwriter moment, while adjunctly, relenting that he is at the behest of other forces in society to ever achieve fame. Can Aceso salve his itchy ambitions?
#8 – Wishes With Aergia
Goddess Aergia is the personification of laziness, and, once again without collaborations in tow, Alex marks out a solo artist’s energy across simplistic – but bizarre – chordal developments. Detailing the jilted transit of the slighted artist, Wishes With Aergia summarises the resuscitation of the goddess Aergia from the aether by a homicidal maniac who wishes to avenge his being overlooked. A terrifying ending, worth listening out for!
#9 – Adephagia
Submitting a vocal track (about the final goddess inclusion of the album, Adephagia) to well-loved Brisbane techno artist, AVAXA proved a clever decision, as she was able to utilise her new electronic project, Muravark in its remix effectively. Muravark does live sets with orchestral and nature sounds often accompanied by flute, brass or cello. Via Muravark, AVAXA will be playing this song and others at Bohemian Beatfreaks in December this year.
If you’ve not yet treated yourself to Alex Edwards’ new album, Freedom Fiesta, stream it via Spotify below.