The couple that won our hearts back in 2013 is back with a brand new album.
Two years after the release of their debut album It’s About Us, folk-pop duo Alex & Sierra is back with a major throwback collection aptly titled As Seen On TV. Their sophomore effort is both a mix of the covers that launched them into stardom and of new tracks that show off their evolution as artists. The release of As Seen On TV was preceded by a string of promotional singles including new versions of “You’re The One That I Want” and “Toxic”.
We sat down with The X Factor’s winners to talk about their new album, life as independent artists and their upcoming plans.
The album’s mainly a cover album, but it includes three original songs. What inspired the decision of including original songs?
Alex Kinsey: We wanted to bring back these covers, because they’re not available anymore. We’ve been writing quite a bit and we definitely wanted to include some of the songs we had been working on. We want to do a full album of originals again in the future, so we thought this would be a good way to get the ball rolling and also of bridging the gap between the old originals and the new ones. It’s a different sound.
Which one of the three originals means the most to you and why?
Sierra Deaton: It’s hard. You put a piece of yourself in every song you create. The one that means the most to me is probably “You Will Find Me”. The lyrics are really special. It’s the most personal too.
Alex: We wrote all three of them and we were there for the creation of them. There’s parts of all three that we really love. My favorite one changes every week.
How was the album’s recording process different than your first album’s when you had a major label backing you?
Alex: We had complete creative control over everything. We got to work with whoever we wanted to work with. We chose them because they understood what we were trying to do and they are really good friends of ours. We had so much more control. This one is a little closer to our hearts.
Sierra: For the first one, we were so overwhelmed coming off of a TV show. We never imagined winning and being thrown into being on a label. We had never written together before. The first album was more other people telling us what we should be doing. This one was us making all the decisions. We had a great time making the first album, but it’s a lot more gratifying to put this out independently.
What song was the most challenging or the hardest to finalize in terms of production, vocals or lyrics?
Alex: The covers went pretty smoothly. We worked on them for 5 days. The most back and forth we had was with “Take Me”. It was a lot of back and forth with the people we were working with in Nashville, and us being so far apart made it a little difficult to agree on some things.
Sierra: We wrote all three in acoustic guitar and we just wanted to get the production right. We didn’t struggle with any of the lyrics for the originals. They all came together really organically. I wouldn’t say easily, but they just worked and we were all happy and didn’t want to change anything about them.
It’s been a while since your last tour. Are you guys planning on hitting the road to promote this album?
Alex: We don’t have set dates yet. We are still figuring all of that out, but it looks like early February. It’s our favorite thing to do so we are really excited.
If you could have featured one artist on this album, who would it be and why?
Alex: I think we both would agree that having Ed Sheeran do a song with us would be cool. I mean, it’s not out of the question. Maybe someday. We have gotten to meet him and we really get along with him, so we think that would definitely be a great collaboration.
What new music were you listening to when you were creating this album?
Sierra: We wrote “Animals” almost a year ago. We were listening to a lot of The Weeknd’s new album and Ed Sheeran’s. We were obsessed with those.
Looking back, what is one thing you took out of your X Factor experience?
Sierra: It’s hard because there’s so much to take in from it. It’s a reminder of how subjective music is. There’s always gonna be people that don’t like you. We learned that as long as we are happy with the stuff we’re putting out, we will be happy.
Alex: If we’re happy, it’s easier for us to make people happy too. We learned a lot about how the music industry works from some of the best people in the business.
What’s next for Alex & Sierra? Can we expect more music videos, a radio single?
Alex: We have a music video that we already shot. My cousin actually directed and shot that. It’s for “Animals”. “Animals” is one of our strongest originals. It would be cool if it made it to the radio. It’s a long shot, but you never know!
Alex and Sierra’s brand new album, As Seen On TV, is now available everywhere.