I’ll be honest, “Lemon Tree” by Alex Baird is a bit more mature feeling than what I typically listen to but there’s something just so interesting about the brand new single. It’s quirky while having a very strong sense of self behind every single note and word. When I heard that “Lemon Tree” is just the title track off of a full album– well, yeah, I dropped everything to check it out and it blew my mind.
What I’m trying to say is that although it’s different from the norm for me, I was in love within my first listen and I just had to learn more about Alex.
What’s your favorite method of listening to music? (I.e. vinyl, cassette, 8-track, etc.)
I’m a ‘90s baby, so I like CDs, and still miss my fuzzy Neopets CD cases bought at Limited Too. I make a point to buy any friends’ CDs because that’s the only way we can really support musicians, but I do most of my listening on Spotify. I love the algorithmic playlists Spotify creates, and how I have separate playlists based on when I’m in the mood for jazz, R&B, throwbacks, or new jazz-inspired pop.
How would you describe your music to your grandma?
This is kind of a funny question considering the context – (one of) my grandma’s music is on the album! I would consider the record mostly jazz. Not everything falls into the standard forms, but everything is jazz-informed. My original music falls somewhere between singer/songwriter, jazz, and R&B.
What’s the most awkward date you’ve ever been on?
Unfortunately, I have a few to choose from. I think the most awkward was when I was on Tinder (at 16? Literally why?) and I told the guy before we met that the back row of the movies was for the couples who just went in to make out (just keep this in mind). He and his friend drove two hours to see me. I was not remotely attracted to him once I met him in person but wanted to stick out the date. We went to Pike Place Market, where a pigeon landed on his head and he ran around screaming. I was so uncomfortable that I got a stomachache, and I tried to end the date before we saw a movie, but he told me I should try to go to the bathroom to poop to make my stomach feel better. I said that it was okay, no need, and we went to the movie. I led us into some of the seats in the front, and he stopped, very confused about why we weren’t going to the back of the theater, so we could make out (???). He ended up putting his arm around me and I avoided eye contact as much as I could. They somehow got home, but I think I had to take the bus back to my parents. Really nice guy, but just not the best at reading body language.
What is your least favorite song you have ever written and why?
A really common scam on Instagram is for people to message musicians and ask them to write a song for their kid for $300, and then they send a fake check for $3000 that you have to pay back $2700 of, but then their money bounces and you end up losing $2700. Before I heard about the scam (it is SO common), I wrote the kid a song. I asked all these follow-up questions, what his relationship was like with his parents, what his favorite superhero was, his favorite toy, how old he was turning, etc. His name was William, and I wrote a really sweet song that I felt great about, and then things got sketchy. I didn’t go through with it, but now I have this song that people request on Twitch, and every time I just think how gullible I was!
Everyone says that every crowd is their favorite but, what city has the best audience and why is it Minneapolis?
Unfortunately, I have never been to Minneapolis, and I’ve really only performed in a few cities, but my favorite audience is my local grocery store, where I play Christmas music every year. So many people who stop and peer at you from behind the wine, or people who come up and say “I thought this was a recording!” Very sweet people in Seattle.
What’s the worst concert you’ve ever been to and why?
Honestly, I think I’ve been very lucky with my concerts. I’ve been to some pretty amazing shows, including Jacob Collier’s first US show, in Denver in 2016. That’s one of my favorites.
Are you okay with unconventional interview questions? (too late!)
This is a very fun set of questions to answer – I commend you.
If you could compare yourself to a bird, what bird would it be and why?
I really don’t know a lot about birds, but as a Harry Potter fan forever, I will say a snowy owl. #hedwigforever
Favorite lyrics of all time? (it can be a full song, a phrase, etc. just please let me know who it is and what song!)
This is hard! One of my favorites of all time is this song by Kurt Elling called “Waking Dream” or “Waking the DreamClock.” Specifically: “even the saddest of endings has in it seeds of another start.” I like to believe that most things happen for a reason. Life is full of ups and downs and everything leads into each other, so every experience, good or bad, is just another step closer to something else life changing.
What’s your favorite menu item at Taco Bell?
Crunchwrap Supreme, of course. But now I want Taco Bell.
If you were to rob a bank, what would be the song playing in the getaway car as you escape?
Jump – The Pointer Sisters. Forever a bop.
What’s one thing I should know before listening to “Lemon Tree”?
Most of the originals have a different person they’re speaking to. There are three songs about different ex-boyfriends, and then some are about my current boyfriend, and some I sing to myself. I kind of think of Lemon Tree as my journal entries from my teenage self until now put to music. I’m trying to tell my story, and each song means something specific to me. I would recommend listening to the lyrics to “It’s No Time to be Blue” for my experience with PTSD after a bad relationship, and the lyrics to “All I Needed” for a funny story about an old boyfriend with whom I really didn’t have that much chemistry.
Where were you when writing “Lemon Tree”?
I wrote Lemon Tree, the song, in my parents’ basement, where I lived for a year and a half after college. I was determined to write it, although it wasn’t coming the most naturally to me. So I spent quite a few hours asking friends to help me and working through the chords to make something harmonically unique and different, but still in the style of a jazz standard.
As suspected, Alex came off as very charming and sweet with every question I asked but also let her personality shine. Getting to know her a bit more definitely sheds a new light on the entire album and I am so excited to go back and listen to it again while eating a black bean crunchwrap from Taco Bell in solidarity with her!
Check out “Lemon Tree” here and be sure to follow Alex on all of her socials (don’t worry, they are listed below)!
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