Known more so for his catchy and fun songs, Alex Roe is about to reveal a much softer side with the forthcoming release of his new single, I Loved Her First.
The Clara man has emerged as one of Irish country's brightest new talents over the last few years, a trajectory that seemed certain to reach new heights in the summer of last year. However, as we all know by now, the summer of 2020 was cancelled, and Alex's career - to at least some extent - has slowed down to a speed he wasn't expecting.
And yet, that unexpected and unavoidable change in gear and circumstances may well have led the twenty-something year old to explore songs that are more about the whisper of a heartbeat than the whirling of feet around a dancefloor.
"I was playing a lot of gigs before everything came to an end last year, and I'd been working to that same kind of a full diary for a good few years at that point. So you naturally tend to gravitate more towards the faster, more uptempo numbers that will keep people out on the floor. And the same applies when you think about what you'll record.
"You want to entice people to come along to your shows because they like what they hear of you on the radio. Now, I've always had some slower songs in my set, the same as every artist would. But what's happened during this break is that I've found myself turning more to songs like that when I'm just listening to music myself. And I suppose what I realised is that these songs - slower, more sentimental ones - they can connect with people just as easily. And that's why I decided to record 'I Loved Her First.'"
When it comes to tearjerkers, I Loved Her First is a song that shows no mercy when pulling on the heartstrings. Released by the American country band Heartland in the summer of 2006, it was both the title-track and the lead-off single from their debut album. Penned by songwriters Walt Aldridge and Elliott Park, I Loved Her First hit the top of the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart late in that same year.
Roe first recorded a video of I Loved You First, which he debuted on his official Facebook music page back at the beginning of April. That video, recorded with Wayne Thorose at Ballyrose Studios, generated a reaction from fans that took the young country star by surprise.
"Back when it had been safe to spend some time in a studio, we took the chance to put together a few things that we'd be able to use as the year went on. We didn't know then how the rest of the year was going to turn out, so the plan was to have some content created for social media and that would help to keep things ticking over and make sure that I still had a way to reach out and connect with fans.
"But to be honest, the way this song has connected with people has been amazing. That very evening that I first posted it, I started getting messages from some radio presenters asking me to send them on the single, I couldn't believe it. The first couple of times I explained that I'd just done a video for it and it wasn't actually a single at all. But by the next morning, with more messages coming in all the time, I had changed my mind. I gave Wayne a shout and said look, I think we actually have a single here!"
Alex continued, "I'm just delighted that people are enjoying it so much. I actually had another single planned for around about now anyway, but given the response to 'I Loved Her First', we'll just hold onto that one for another little while."
I Loved Her First, the brand NEW single from Alex Roe, will be available on all platforms from Friday, April 30.
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