ALEX EXISTS has DAVID ESSEX’ Rock On, covered
by Walter Price
The DNA of all your favorite post-punk offbeat-pop singles from the likes of Adam and the Ants, Murray Head, Shakin’ Stevens, and, perhaps, the weirdly addictive Taco can be traced back to the Glam movement of the early to mid-1970s. A seminal era when jukebox heroes such as Gary Glitter and Alvin Stardust were making sounds that would influence a slew of future artists. And there’s an album from that timeframe that may not get all the adulation from newer generations it deserves. David Essex’s 1973 masterclass, “Rock On”. But you already knew all this.
This is now and Toronto-based artist Alex Exists clearly understands this album’s powers and has reimagined the uber-popular and certainly influential title track. Morphed it into, as Exists is quoted, “…something familiar and otherworldly. Something that has the gritty spirit of rock ‘n roll, and the holographic sheen of post-internet music… A song trapped in a timeless sound capsule.”
Mission accomplished. Of course, the original’s glam-a-billy-Elvis vibes are intact, but Exists adds a tad bit more 80s-styled psych-panache to the mix. A unique mix that’s made more evident by the eye-popping color splash music video. Co-directed by Alex Exists and Agata Waclawska and filmed in a neon museum, the vibrant color schemes won’t be the only thing that’ll keep you watching to the end. Rather, it’ll be the cast of far-out characters, the quirky dance moves, and the feeling that you’re entering into another whelm that’ll hold your attention. It’s brilliantly weird and a trip well worth taking.
History has proven that most cover songs are mostly gimmicky, cheap imitations or album fillers, but this one seems like it has all the respect the original deserves. Albeit with Alex Exists eccentric fingerprints all over it.
“Rock On” is taken from the forthcoming COVERAMA project, from The Confidence Emperors label, expected. May 20th, 2022.
ALEX EXISTS Rock On vs. DAVID ESSEX
Artist photo by Agata Waclawska // Quotes courtesy of Auteur Research PR
Produced, recorded, mixed, and performed by Alex Exists
VIDEO: Directed & Edited by: Alex Exists // Agata Waclawska
Director of Photography: Mitch Fillion
Additional Camera/Grip: Zach Nash
Styling/Makeup/Wardrobe: Agata Waclawska
Producers: Southern Souls // Moon Reel Media
Mixing: Michael Fong
Production: Alex Exists
Mastering: Joao Carvalho
“Alex’s music is inspired by absurdism, hyper-surrealism, and optimistic nihilism with an acid tongue planted firmly in his cheek. He is fascinated by pop culture and ego.” – bio