Alexander Teller Is A Snake Oil Seller. That’s also the name of his EP that is to be released early 2020. He’s a pastor’s son, who, while he doesn’t believe in God, still thinks he’s probably going to hell. Teller has spent the last 3 years writing and producing this record, which he presents to you now. He tells himself he doesn’t care what people think about it, but really he does. Of course he does.
The video is a unique cross between the 2002 Comedy-Drama About A Boy and The Green Room, which is about a punk band who fall victim to a hostile group of skinheads in a secluded venue. Opening with Alexander stood in the stage spotlight, the video cuts between shots of floating feathers and close ups of blazer embellishment. The room is soon flooded with bikers in their mid-40s-50s and eeriness escalates with school children complete with balaclavas. These contrasting themes create a strange yet compelling narrative, and is the perfect partner to the track.
It’s clear why Alexander would be so attached to this record, because the lead single ‘A Cigarette That Never Goes Out’ is an audio and visual masterpiece. The track is appears to be some sort of Bond theme crossed with a Radiohead track – but with more punch than the Spectre that never was. With a consistent clenched-fist bass groove Alexander’s vocal sits beautifully on top, and flirts between falorn falsetto and finessed ferocity. The strings are almost as cinematic as the intense and interestingly unconventional visual.
Alexander Teller discusses ‘A Cigarette That Never Goes Out’:
“The tracks were made in bedrooms and garages across south London. I don’t know if I’m a natural songwriter. I can’t just write about anything so it takes a while to finish songs. I’ll have about 8 incomplete tunes that will suddenly all fall into place simultaneously. I guess I’m hoarding them. But now they’re finished I can’t be an overprotective parent anymore, and I don’t get to be the one who decides if they’re good.”
“A Cigarette That Never Goes Out is a love song (or a loss song?). I have a lot of fun writing words that don’t seem like they should fit in a song. I don’t want people to think that the humour in the lyrics means i’m being facetious or frivolous. It’s definitely sincere. There’s somewhere between being earnest and being playful that I think carries the most weight.”