Alexander Stewart shows his ‘bleeding heart’ in debut album

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Recommended Tracks: “blame’s on me”, “easier said than done”, “how dare you”

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Emotions ebb and flow, but they all pull at heartstrings nonetheless, leaving you feeling pained and frustrated, as if you’re bleeding. It’s the pain that sprouts from Canadian singer-songwriter Alexander Stewart’s emotional reckonings, making the aftermath sting that much more. Against a backdrop of gentle piano melodies, Stewart pours his heart out into his debut album, mixing his signature melancholic lyrics with raw emotion. It’s a release of his blood, sweat, and tears as he shows us his bleeding heart in his debut album.

Stewart has 4.5 million monthly listeners on Spotify, unveiling heart-wrenching song after song with bleeding heart capturing the essence of the aftermath of a brutal relationship. The album was written over the last three years in between touring dates and achieving international success with viral TikTok hits.

The album opens with “said so,” an acoustic guitar-driven track that sees Stewart reflecting on the fallout after a breakup, feeling foolish and left in the dark. He compares their locations — Los Angeles and London — and stresses the need for honesty and transparency. He sings, “You’re so fucking ruthless, how could you do this? / It’s fine that you let go / But you could’ve said so.” This lingering pain persists in “day i die,” as Stewart struggles to move on; there’s a sense of desperation in the lyrics, as depicted in, “I won’t lie, I look for you in strangers’ eyes / It kills me you don’t even care we had to say goodbye / When I know that it’ll haunt me ‘til the day I die.”

The tone shifts slightly with “broken by you” and “blame’s on me,” which both delve into self-reflection on the aftermath of a relationship. Stewart explores the acceptance of heartbreak and the bittersweetness that comes with seeking closure and peace toward the end in “broken by you.” The repeated refrain, “If my heart’s gonna break / Then at least I can say I was broken by you,” is a shatter to the soul when you’re left in pieces when everything is all said and done. That is before Stewart admits his own faults for the ending of the relationship in “blame’s on me.” Realizing you were also in the wrong is never easy; it means taking responsibility for how things played out, and Stewart must come to terms with his wrongdoings.

But how do you completely escape a past that’s haunting you? A relationship that you gave your heart to? In “how dare you,” Stewart feels trapped after the relationship ends, unable to fully move on despite the passage of time. He sings, “Wish I could wish you the worst if I had the words / I’d tell you how bad this hurts / I lost my mind wasting my time / Watching you fuck up my life.” Despite the song’s upbeat backdrop, there’s a sweet vulnerability to it that differs from his balladic tracks. His pain is palpable, emanating from his emotive vocal delivery and he further capitalizes on his struggle with self-image and self-acceptance in “reflection.” He continues to grapple with self-loathing and the constant battle with his own inner demons.

Sometimes we are forced to deal with moving on, regardless of how much it stings. But sometimes it’s “easier said than done”; it’s a perfect title for Stewart’s track “easier said than done.” In the song, he struggles with letting go of a past relationship, even though he knows it’s the right thing to do. He sings, “It’s time that I cut you right out of my life / It’s killing me slowly and you got the knife.” There’s toxicity and drama — the relationship is beyond saving — but he still yearns for it. It’s painful, heartbreaking and it hurts like nothing else.

In the final two tracks, we’re met with Stewart’s raw, internal battles that make him shine so brightly. “if only you knew” is addressed to his mother about the dark feelings he was too scared to share as a child. The song is filled with pain, heartfelt relatability and struggle. He becomes a friend to you at your worst. Navigating appreciating the good things in life, Stewart keeps his pain hidden from his mother, to save face. Yet, we all seek closure and want to move on when things are difficult. In “proud of me,” Stewart faces the emotional hurdles of adolescence and growing up. We often wonder: what does it really mean to find yourself? Stewart aims to answer this question in the album’s concluding track and finds his self-worth amidst self-growth.

We often wonder what a passage of time means. Are we meant to confront the pain and move on or remain trapped in a past we can’t escape? In his debut album, Stewart lets us see all sides of his bleeding heart in the aftermath of a breakup, showing us his mind and soul through several ballad tracks that resonate with us all.

Keep up with Alexander Stewart: Instagram // Spotify // Facebook // X // TikTok // YouTube

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