“Picture director David Lynch, Stephen King, Luis Fonsi, Justin Timberlake, The Monkees, The Blue Meanies, Lord Voldemort and Emperor Palpatine, all drugged, and kept prisoner in an airline’s executive lounge,” that’s how Grammy-nominated artist Eric Alexandrakis would describe his new EP “GMT.” 

Yeah, that fits – and I mean that as a compliment.

“GMT” is unlike anything I’ve ever heard before. Each song has a distinctly different feel to it, but somehow, they all work together. I genuinely enjoy listening to it. 

“Get Ready (For Springtime),” the second song on the album, makes me want to dance. It sounds like it could fit in a sunny, exciting montage in a coming-of-age movie. “Boom Chicka Boom Boom Boom” also feels like it could fit in a soundtrack, but in, like, a badass heist movie. “Dropping Bombs with Needles and Fast Talkers” has a charismatic Broadway villain vibe. Listen to the album, and I promise that you’ll understand what I’m talking about.

One of my favorite songs on the album, “Grass in Your Toes,” is a fun chant about exactly that — having grass in your toes. The idea came to him as he was walking in wet grass with an ex-girlfriend.

“The approach to it was to just have fun with something completely random that made absolutely no sense and see if I could make it flow and feel catchy,” Alexandrakis said, part of which he did through different voices, considering he’s always “terrorizing” friends by leaving them voicemails in strange voices.

Alexandrakis has been in the music industry since the late 1990s. His first album was discovered by John Taylor of Duran Duran, who posted it on his website. 

In 1998, Alexandrakis was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. During his treatment, he recorded his second album, “I.V. Catatonia,” which was then licensed by MTV for use in a variety of their programming. In 2000, after having been in remission, he needed a stem cell transplant, which left him in a germ-free hospital room for a month.

“As strange as it sounds, it was a good experience,” Alexandrakis said. “It exposed me to a lot of goodness and it humbles you. It was a very creative experience.” 

At the same time, it also left him feeling as though he never had enough time.

“Sometimes I have to literally stop myself and be like, ‘look, you know, the world is not gonna end if you don’t finish it today. Tomorrow’s another day, just do it tomorrow,’” he said.

Alexandrakis was nominated for a Grammy in 2019 for the audiobook “I.V. Catatonia: 20 Years As A Two-Time Cancer Survivor,” losing to Michelle Obama.

While Alexandrakis feels connected to all of the songs on “GMT,” it’s the final song, “Daylight, Daylight,” that he holds closest to his heart. It’s about a childhood friend of his who grew up in a difficult situation and was struggling to “[take] control of their destiny.” The recording is a live acoustic version with the sounds of an airport terminal in the background, edited in afterwards.

“It’s about not wasting the daylight, you know, like ‘daylight, daylight, there it is,’ so that’s why I said it twice,” he said. “Being designed to sound like it’s in an airport terminal, it’s like, make the most of everything and keep the journey going and it’s exciting to see where it goes next.”

Overall, the album was so much fun to listen to, and through speaking with Alexandrakis it’s clear that he had a lot of fun with this album and put his heart and soul into it. I’d give it 9/10 stars.

The 14-minute record was released on March 22 and is available on all streaming platforms.

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I’ve always been passionate about journalism and telling stories, and I think that the way a paper is laid out can help tell those stories more effectively. Good journalism is needed now more than ever and I’m excited to bring what I know to the Cigar this semester and to gain more experience in this field.