Alex Dunn's 'Southern Star' is a Modern Piece of Americana That Explores the Many Solitudes of a Life Spent Adrift

Article Contributed by Color Red | Published on Saturday, December 4, 2021

On Friday, December 3rd, Seattle-based Americana/folk artist, Alex Dunn, released his second full-length record, Southern Star via Color Red. With the help of co-producer Bryant Moore (bassist in True Loves), Dunn weaves a tapestry of the many lives he’s led, spanning from his youth along the border of Colorado and Wyoming to the solitary moments spent as a commercial fisherman in Southeast Alaska, where he migrated seasonally for nearly 15 years.  Now back in Seattle, Dunn has planted roots and assembled an 8-track collection of melodic sawdust and salt air—music that breathes with a sense of place, yet is imminently accessible and speaks to the universal.

“Southern Star,” the album’s title track, is an oceanic folk song that carries the rhythms of the sea while detailing the arduous yet dreamy nature of living aboard a small wooden fishing vessel.  Much of Dunn’s life was often ebbing and flowing, dictated by the seasonal nature of the fish themselves—it was only natural for him to compose an Americana homage that reflects this uniquely aquatic existence. Dunn collaborated with his longtime friend and multimedia artist, Elena Stonaker on the release of a music video to recreate imagery of a dream-like reality where one floats through rugged waterscapes filled with wild creatures and the experiences of a particular, untamed solitude.

“The video for ‘Southern Star’ showcases Elena’s signature style of creating soft and beautiful, almost child-like worlds, while at the same time evoking the darkness that often lies beneath the surface,” says Dunn. “I wrote many songs while living and working aboard commercial fishing vessels and the video details the numerous creatures and seascapes that filled this wild existence while focusing on the power of dreams—for they are the connections to a promising future. In this case, a future symbolized by the guiding light of a ‘Southern Star.’”

Watch the music video for “Southern Star” here.

Since the release of his debut album Scattered Poems in 2018, Dunn has been working and touring with the same core band members - his new record Southern Star showcases this budding musical chemistry. The album finds Dunn's acoustic/folk-rock taking a more electric/roots turn, and what results is a modern piece of Americana that details a life in transition, from a seasonal existence toiling upon the sea to the hard-earned actualization of one's dreams.  

Listen to Southern Star in its entirety here.

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