Cindy Alexander is no stranger to overcoming the odds: A cancer survivor, mother of twin girls, and a successful, touring independent artist for 15 years prior to signing with Blue Élan Records. Writing a record while her mother was dying from dementia, recording while navigating a world of pandemic and protests, and trying to finish anything while teaching her kids from home during a “Safer at Home” order were just a few more elements to add to her already colorful story of personal perseverance. Cindy tells it like it is – the Truth with a capital “T.” As Cindy says, “I can’t pretend that everything’s ok, because it’s not. But, I always see the light – in you, in me, in the world that was created from it. My journey in this body is about finding it, sharing it, becoming it. It’s a struggle. It’s painful. It’s delightful. It’s ecstatic.” While the Angels Sigh is at once a musical affirmation of personal power and grace, and an acceptance of human weakness and fallibility. Cindy Alexander has written a songbook for the sandwich generation, with wisdom for millennials, and gratitude to the generations that came before her.
It took two years to curate the song list with executive producer and label co-founder, Kirk Pasich. “It was two years of me digging deep, during a dark time, to believe in myself and my musical mission, even if others did not,” Cindy explains. “I committed to sharing my truth and my passion, to work with people who could help me manifest my vision, and seized the opportunity to create without being edited, censored or silenced. I am so very blessed that Blue Élan Records gave me that opportunity.”
By late 2019, Cindy Alexander sat in Sage & Sound Studio with a dream team of musicians, led by producer/bass player Sean Hurley and producer/drummer Victor Indrizzo. The first song they tackled was “Try Try Try,” a co-write with Cindy’s career-long collaborator, Grammy award-nominated producer and songwriter, David Darling. The song is about trying to connect and reignite the passion, when life gets in the way and distracts us from what really matters. While writing the song, a distracted Cindy had fallen and broken her elbow and wrist while running to make a meeting (“at least I feel alive…bleeding from a break”). It was Kirk’s idea to record a second “live” version of the song (all players in one room in one take) as an acoustic ballad, turning a sexy bar burner into a trippy, hypnotic siren song.
“Room at the Bottom,” a tongue in cheek ode to the down and out musician, as well as an answer to Tom Petty’s “Room at the Top,” was built around a signature guitar lick by David Levita (Alanis Morissette, Lana Del Rey, Sheryl Crow) and a scrappy, beat up piano part by Michael Farrell (Alanis Morissette, Macy Gray), achieved by placing three No.2 pencils on the piano strings to create the distortion.
“Broken but Beloved,” a song about impermanence, was recorded with Grammy award-winning producer and engineer Ross Hogarth at Sunset Sound. It was the last in-person session before the Los Angeles lockdown order took effect in March 2020. Cindy’s dear friend and touring buddy, Michael Bacon (one-half of the Bacon Brothers and award-winning composer) contributed cello from his studio in New York. After recording his part, he sent Cindy a note, in which she found the title of her new record:
“When I write my ‘Remediation Practices for Enduring the Pandemic,’ chapter 2 will read: 1. Get an amazing lifelong friend who’s got Beverly Sills chops but keeps it real. 2. Have her write a beautiful song. 3. Have her ask you to put 1,000,000 cell parts on it. 4. Do that. Title of the album: ‘While the Angels Sigh.’”
Tracks were transferred back and forth throughout the 2020 quarantine between home studios, and finally finished up in Cindy’s bedroom at her new home in Big Sur. Although the creative process was a challenge, the result is a triumph. While the Angels Sigh is an achingly personal album that speaks to and for all of us, and a musical tribute to a broken but beloved humanity.
Cindy Alexander – Just the Facts:
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Cindy was trained at the acclaimed USC School of Drama, but realized quickly that there was enough “drama” in real life, and the best part she could play was herself. Cindy has released ten studio albums (and added to numerous compilations and soundtracks). She has also performed all across the US, Japan, Germany, Ireland, and islands as far as Barbados and Guantanamo Bay. Music has always been the key to her adventure, and she soaks up the stories of those she meets, the cultures, the geography, the spirit, and the down and dirty details of the road she travels. As a seasoned writer and performer, Cindy has tackled numerous subjects which expand beyond the classic singer-songwriter confessional fare of dysfunctional relationships, marriage, and motherhood. Cindy explores her own personal discovery and recovery from breast cancer, the perils of the entertainment business, classic literature, sexuality, spirituality, history and the human condition. Her approach to writing and performing in a nutshell: “In art, we have to be vulnerable. That’s the difference between art and craft. The art is an open heart and a naked soul; the craft is an open mind and an engaged brain. When they all work together…well, that’s something to behold.”
Cindy cares less about the accolades and awards (she won NBC’s and David Foster’s Star Tomorrow and turned down the record deal, and has won multiple L.A. Music Awards, among a multitude of others) than she does about her greatest asset in the entertainment business: her Fans. “P-nut,” as she is affectionately known by them, has a voice that defies her petite stature. Classically trained, this coloratura soprano hits the high notes like an angel but also bellows with rich, velvety tones in the lower half of her over three octave range. She’s a storyteller, and her show benefits from the humor and banter with the audience in between songs, in addition to the music and exceptional execution. Cindy Alexander connects, and her relationship with her fans has funded her creative endeavors and fueled her continued success as a touring indie musician.
When not parenting and playing music, you’ll find Cindy caring for her local wildlife who have adopted her: squirrels, birds, feral cats, raccoons, salamanders and any other creature in the Big Sur wilderness. She’s also the proud adopter of two rescue cats, who live comfortably indoors. “Playing it forward” is important to Cindy, and her charitable efforts through music include The Kay Yow Cancer Fund, Animal Friends Rescue, and the Alzheimer’s Association.