Lucky Star (A Lloyd) 1999 and Amazing (A Lloyd) – Alex Lloyd 2001
Alex Lloyd (real name Alex Wasiliev) grew up in Bondi (Syd) and paid his dues in indie pub bands The Beefs and Mother Hubbard, his impressive tenor vocals encouraged him to go solo and an early composition from Lloyd, Snow, was picked up for inclusion on the soundtrack of Wes Craven’s horror movie Scream 2.
He issued his debut EP, Peepshow, in 1998, but it failed to chart, his debut album Black the Sun
was issued in 1999 and became his first top ten hit when it climbed to #10, but the two singles lifted from the album, the title track and Lucky Star both failed to make the top 80, however Lucky Star was included on the soundtrack of Gregor Jordan’s Australian noir feature Two Hands, and so gained increased exposure via the soundtrack which also included songs by Powderfinger, Crowded House, The Reels and Kate Ceberano.
The Lloyd style of song-writing and singing has been variously described as stoic, morose, even boring, and less charitably as self-important, but there was a guileless, slightly gawky and endearing quality about him, and he has mentioned that losing his mother to cancer at the age of fifteen affected him deeply, and he took his mother’s maiden name as his own thereafter.
There was a marked duality about the promo video and the song Lucky Star which on the one hand is very laid back with a simple chord structure, lots of acoustic strumming and riffing, and on the other hand, the disturbing street scenes of incivility, violence and robbery depicted in the video. But there was obvious talent and a musical inventiveness here, Lloyd co-produced the album with Ed Buller (Pulp, Suede, Psychedelic Furs), and had played nearly all the instruments on Lucky Star, and the song has a blissful Neil Finn pop sensibility about it.
With his next album, Watching Angels Mend, he would more convincingly fulfil his early promise after picking up the ARIA Award for Best New Artist in 1999.
This album was recorded at Townhouse Studios and Canelot Studios in London, the first single lifted was the anthemic Amazing, Lloyd’s acoustic guitar and Ged Lynch’s drums and percussion over Shawn Lee’s keyboards, blended with the hypnotically lush strings arranged by Magnus Fiennes, as the song swelled to the chorus and the tempo and volume shifted up a gear to simultaneously raise the emotional stakes.
It was a simple song, beautifully executed, and captured the heartache when a couple break up – “And I really didn’t want to push today/ No I really didn’t want to end this way/ But the things that seem to bind us/ Are the things we put behind us, on this day.”
It charted #9 locally and #1 in NZ, and the album went to #2 nationally and occupied the charts for 46 weeks, Lloyd picked up his second ARIA Award, this time for Best Male Artist, and an APRA Award for Song of the Year in 2002.
In 2003 his album Distant Light climbed to #8 locally and the single Coming Home charted at #27, he followed up 2005 with the album Alex Lloyd which also climbed to #8 and the single Never Meant to Fail peaked at #26, for his last top 40 hit locally, as Lloyd continued to fight a persistent obesity problem.
He toured in the US and Europe for over five years, releasing the album Good in the Face of a Stranger in 2008 and contributed songs to the soundtrack of the movie Mad Bastards in 2011, he returned to touring in Australia in 2013 and his last album was Urban Wilderness in 2016 which won critical praise but did not chart.