Sophia Alexa wants something permanent on “Buried Alive”

It’s impossible to predict where inspiration will come from. Whether they’re drawing from personal experience and hardship, or perhaps high literature and mythology, artists are always finding new spaces and sources of brilliance. For Sophia Alexa, inspiration came in the form of a television show about hoarding: Buried Alive.

All said, it’s no silly song; “Buried Alive” reaches deep, asking why people hold on to things they have no business holding on to. “The title came from this tv show called Buried Alive about hoarders,” says Alexa. “In a way, I related to them trying to fill some void or emotion with possessions.”

For Alexa, the need to explore her tendency to “fill some void” by holding on to things resulted in an emotionally stunning piano ballad in which she discusses the consequences of such a practice through lush harmonies and catchy melodic lines. The track sounds like early Perfume Genius, building in intensity and virtuosity as it goes on, with the lyrics becoming more and more intimate as it comes to a close.

“I wrote ‘Buried Alive’ at a time when I had become a bit of a hoarder, and I’d hold on to everything,” says Alexa, seeing a bit of herself in those she saw on the tv. “It was a strange sentimental attachment to everything I owned. I wondered why people, including me, attach themselves to things, and it’s more than materialism, it’s having something permanent.”

For Alexa, it’s more than just nostalgia; instead, it’s a very real need for stability—for things to hold on to—for something to be constant, or stable, in one’s life. And she talks about it candidly, like an illness, finding the image on the tv to be relatable. She sings, “See those crazy guys on Buried Alive / Maybe they’re just empty inside / to be honest, I think I caught it.”

Alexa layers her voice beautifully on this track, complicating the melody with more and more harmonic layers. But other than that, “Buried Alive” is a marvel in its simplicity, made up of mostly a strong leading piano part and an accompanying bass line. It’s her voice that drives the song, which—as gentile as it is powerful—delivers the message of the son beautifully.

Today, Alexa also releases her first EP, Groundwork, which is sure to deliver more vulnerable and personal tracks like “Buried Alive,” drawing deeply from her life. In her own words, “I love to think of my songs as a moment in time, and this EP has allowed me to relive special and difficult moments in my life.”

“Buried Alive” and the new EP Groundwork are out now. Find Sophia Alexa on Instagram.



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