LA-based artist Alex Dezen is not only the frontman of Brooklyn indie-rock band The Damnwells nor is he just a multi-platinum selling songwriter, penning hits for artists like Justin Bieber and Matt Hires. In addition to these successes, Dezen is also a solo singer-songwriter, preparing for his debut record release next month.
The eponymous album is said to be a collection of Dezen’s most personal stories. One of these stories is “Ode To Ex-Girlfriends,” a bittersweet, stripped-raw recollection of Dezen’s past and the women who occupied it. The minimal instrumentation and ragged vocals offer enough emotion to get the job done but the music video released for “Ode To Ex-Girlfriends” is equally simple and even more moving.
Set against a stark white backdrop, the video focuses on a cropped close-up of Dezen as he sings verses that each tell the story of a different ex-girlfriend, interrupting the flow of nostalgia only for him to sing the chorus that inspired the song, “To all the lovers I wrote love letters/And all their mothers who bought me nice sweaters/To all them, I hearby extend/This ode to ex-girlfriends”. During each verse, Dezen’s face appears over the image of a different woman acting out each “ex-girlfriend”. While Dezen remains mostly still aside from the occasional guitar work and subtle movements accompanied by his singing, beneath his image, each woman’s facial expressions and body language are tracked so that the movement is the only thing separating their face from Dezen’s, an overlay effect of tremendous success.
By offering this opportunity to visualize Dezen’s lyrics, it is no longer nostalgia that listeners feel, but a series of emotions from regret to pride to hope. With “Ode To Ex-Girlfriends”, what he calls “a document, a proof of my life mapped out across the lives of the women I have loved,” Alex Dezen gives us the gift of courage, allowing us to learn from his past and encouraging us to inquire about our own.
Watch the video for “Ode To Ex-Girlfriends” below and connect with Dezen on Facebook: