There’s a lot of heartland rock making its way into the tree of influences the American underground is embracing contemporarily, and this is more than obvious when listening to a single like “Halfway” from seasoned singer/songwriter Alex Woodard. While he’s no stranger to the indie spotlight, having been in this game for more than two decades now, Woodard’s steady shift deeper into the realm of pastoral poeticisms has made his one of the more compelling alt-rock stories of the last five years, and scarcely has ever sounded as focused and on-point as he does in “Halfway.” He’s on fire here, and it doesn’t take a professional critic to tell as much.
You don’t have to look very hard for the emotion in this song, but instead simply press the play button and allow for Woodard’s passions to come boiling over through the instruments and into his very words. He doesn’t hold back from us in breaking down precisely where his head is at one way or another in this piece, and while it might be popular to conceal fragilities with poetic smokescreens in other crossover rock acts, it’s most definitely not something I think we should expect to see from this singer/songwriter anytime soon.
The music video for “Halfway” is animated, a little elaborate and unapologetically spewing the contents of its heart all over the screen, but not once does it ever feel overthought. There’s a straightforwardness to the way the visuals stack up to create an unspoken story in the background, and when processed alongside the lyrical narrative of the single it’s easy to see where one could actually get a lot more of the soulfulness Woodard was trying to express to us by seeing the video versus listening to the song all by itself.
If you didn’t know much, or even anything at all, about Alex Woodard’s music before taking some time out with “Halfway,” you’re likely going to have the same response to its melodic wit that a hardcore follower of this esteemed singer/songwriter would, and not because his sound is of a generic quality. This is an artist who takes accessibility seriously in every capacity, and if this weren’t the case I doubt his music would be so easy to get into, even without having any background on the man making it for our pleasure. He’s very talented, and I can’t wait to hear more from him again sometime.