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  • Andy Mockbee

Review: "broken by you" - Alexander Stewart

(photo credit: Erik Melvin)

Toronto-born singer/songwriter Alexander Stewart is no stranger to mining heartbreak for material. A quick glance at his discography, featuring titles such as the viral "i wish you cheated" (yes, stylized to be entirely lowercase), immediately prepares you for the emotional journey ahead. His latest single, "broken by you," wastes no time placing listeners in the midst of romantic wreckage. The LA-based artist's new track has the gravitas of power balladry with the bones of solid-bodied pop. Stewart's vocals are mixed so closely that the reverb-soaked piano blurs into a mood-setting backdrop. As the thumping kicks build steam, the "blame's on me" singer fuels his vocal performance to match the energy. Once "broken by you" builds momentum, it refuses to yield. At just under three minutes, the powerful track squeezes out a mountain of emotion in a singular moment.

Like the shattered mirror reflecting his image on the single's cover, Stewart writes of the singular, fracturing moment in a relationship. "If I can't find you a reason to stay, / And my heart's gonna break, then at least I can say / I was broken by you." Of a relationship already past its breaking point, the singer/songwriter considers what it means for him to have lost this person. Clearly within his ideal zone as a writer, he wastes no space pairing potent imagery. "Leave your ghost, I'll let you haunt me," he sings. At times, Stewart might hint at these lingering expressions as silver linings. To have felt anything at all, as he suggests, is a gift to hold dearly.

Alexander Stewart's return with "broken by you" follows a big year for his career as a singer/songwriter. In December of 2023, he released the EP, if only you knew. Garnering critical praise, Rolling Stone coverage, and an invitation to perform on Late Night with Seth Myers, Stewart is showing no signs of slowing down. With over a half-billion global streams, there's no denying the emotional resonance of his heartbreak anthems. This massive fan-base has brought Stewart to his ongoing tour, including the recently announced North American leg. Alongside the single, "broken by you" released with an accompanying music video directed by Nick and Pat Demarais.

Written By Andy M.

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