When you need a scapegoat for the chaos that is your post-2020 life, look no further than the stars and planets.
Blame It On Mercury is local singer-songwriter Alex Hendrix’s newest single which drops this Friday, August 6th.
Hendrix’s newest track blends country with her signature moodiness to create a song which has been musically described as ‘a malaise of summer.’
We sat down with Alex to get her thoughts and insights into what went into making Blame It On Mercury the perfect close-of-summer vibe.
HuntsvilleMusic.com: Hi Alex Hendrix, welcome back to HuntsvilleMusic.com’s interviewing hot seat. Are you ready to reveal your most intimate secrets?
Alex Hendrix: I have had two very large, iced coffees and I am ready to spill everything
HM.com: Godspeed. So, we’re here today to unpack your newest upcoming single, Blame It On Mercury. First, I want to know – what was the last thing you blamed on the alignments of the planets?
Alex: You know, I would love to say it was something very large that sticks out in my memory. But in reality, it was probably something I said in passing to my cat when he got angry with me for not letting him look out the glass front door. My cat is very into astrology
HM.com: That tracks. Speaking of tracks, this one is a notable deviation from the last track you released: Necromantic, a song that was equal parts eerie and ethereal. Blame It On Mercury feels more straight-forward and twangy – a little bit less off-the-wall while still retaining some classic ‘Alex Hendrix’ melancholy.
What were the differences in the songwriting process for these two?
Alex: Necromantic was more of a theatrical writing exercise, so I got very immersed in gothic literature and film for it. Blame It On Mercury is much more along the lines of my usual writing. I remember it all coming very quickly as well, it wasn’t a song that I labored over for very long at all
HM.com: Hearing that both impresses and enrages me, since the lyrics for Blame It On Mercury are so damn good, and I was kind of hoping you’d really struggled to get them out.
It’s hard to pick a single favorite line, but one of mine is
It feels just like laughing when I’m not in on the joke / And my lungs keep on filling up with secondhand smoke
How do you think this song compares to your previous work in general?
Alex: Thank you, that’s very kind of you. The production for this song has gone heavily into the country realm, which is different for me in a very fun way. It’s always been a fun song to play live, so I’m glad we got to add little elements that keep the sort of melancholy feeling while adding these retro neon-y vibes to it. Lyrically, it’s very self-focused, very much about spiraling and wondering why you are the way you are, but in a way that isn’t quite as dark as I usually go.
A paired down version of my angst, really.
HM.com: That self-curiosity and discovery is such a prevalent theme through all your work, I think it’s why people connect so deeply with the lyrics.
You mentioned that this has ‘always’ been a fun song to play live – when did you initially write it?
Alex: This was written a couple of months after the big Notre Dame fire of 2019, which is actually specifically referenced in the song. So right around this exact time two years ago.
HM.com: The world has changed so much since 2019 – did you do a lot of editing to the song as a result of that, or did it always stay pretty true to its first iteration?
Alex: Nothing has changed from the first draft of the lyrics aside from a few minor phrasing things.
HM.com: Let’s talk about Blame It On Mercury, genre-wise. It has totally different vibes than Necromantic and than a lot of your other music – how would you describe this one from that lens?
Alex: It absolutely skews more Country than anything else I’ve done. I was really inspired by the idea of a gritty dive bar and a neon glow and just the sort of innate moodiness that brings. I worked with Johnny Okwu again, who is amazing, and Adam Renfro came on to do slide guitar and it morphed into this 70s Cosmic Country moment that I really love.
HM.com: Same, and I’m not typically a big country fan, but this song is something special.
Lyrically, which is your favorite line from Blame It On Mercury, and why is it the bit about Persephone?
Alex: It IS that bit! I feel like a Greek mythology reference immediately followed by an outdated pop culture reference is a great glimpse into the way my brain functions.
But obviously I relate strongly to Persephone specifically, this character who had to spend her entire life split between the light and the Underworld and never fully belonged in either place.
HM.com: I think Persephone and Hades’ ‘love’ story is one of the best stories ever written, so I’m glad it found its way into one of your songs alongside Veuve Clicquot and Joe DiMaggio. Speaking of Veuve Clicquot, I love that you referenced it in this song – it really classes it up. Have they reached out regarding a sponsorship yet?
Alex: They have not, but I expect their team to contact me on release day, either with a brand deal or a cease and desist.
HM.com: If they know what’s good for them, it’ll be the former.
Now, with the title and the themes of astrology, I have to ask – what’s your sign and how do you feel about astrology?
Alex: I am a Gemini, which will surprise no one. It fits me, which probably skews my perspective and makes me believe it more.
HM.com: That does fit you perfectly, I love that I know that about you know.
Okay, last question – if you could tell listeners one thing about Blame It On Mercury before their first listen, what would it be?
Alex: Be ready for a melancholy summer jam, I suppose is what I would warn them.
HM.com: Warning taken and heeded, we could not be more ready for Blame It On Mercury’s release. Until then, we have a teaser for our readers – and for me. Check it out below, pre-save Blame It On Mercury on Spotify, and stream Alex’s newest single this Friday, August 6th. Thank you for hanging out with us again, we love you.
Alex: As always, it has been a delight to have any excuse to monopolize your time.
Grace is the Content Director of HuntsvilleMusic.com and lives in Madison, AL, which really isn’t that far, guys.
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