Somewhere Else, the debut album from Alex Kozobolis, is a series of snapshots. Kozobolis infuses his record with fragments and fragrances of place, distance, and perspective. Memories become timbres. Past experiences and locations shrink into the length of a single track while expanding and blossoming into the world of music. The music on Somewhere Else opens up and develops, like a photograph sleeping in its dark room, waiting for an image to appear. The physical environment transforms into a world of unseen sound. Dedications – to both people and to cities – lie within.
Empty playgrounds and missing friends are a sign of the times, indicating what has now departed. When these thoughts enter, it’s easy to feel downcast, but one can be thankful and appreciative for having had that season in the first place, and for having had those friendships. Either way, the music wouldn’t be the same without its heartbreak – they made it into what it is today. And the music isn’t too downbeat, choosing to take in the memory and pondering over it rather than crying.
On a rainy day, and with a cup of tea in tow. That’s when the photograph develops. That’s when the photo album, covered in steeples of dust, opens.
The memories are as fresh as day one, eternally preserved and encased within Alex’s sublime piano melodies. The melodies are still able to breathe in spite of the rapid pace, being spacious and well ventilated in spite of its cascades. The notes have a thin tail of reverb, adding to their delicate nature. They come across as being incredibly precious things, as fresh as the day of filming.
People and personalities, life-phases and differing places: this is life’s soundtrack, and Somewhere Else, although personal and unique in that regard, wants the listener to come along for the ride, to open that book. Because, although experiences differ from person to person, there is a common ground, and there are episodes in which people all over the world, of any race, religion, culture, age, or nationality, can relate to.
The piano is a therapeutic instrument for Alex, having originally turned to the instrument in order to regulate the symptoms of his Tourette syndrome. As such, the piano is central to the record. Recorded by Ed Hamilton at his studio in the Cotswolds, the piano’s texture and timbre gives off a sensitive intimacy. Alex has a light touch – his fingers grace the keys, and the webbed, jazz-inspired melodies point to a record born out of love, making for music of deep, personal significance, shifting from darkness to light.