‘Addicted’, the debut album from Alexis Strum, is finally available after being shelved 22 years ago.
Recorded in the early 2000s for Warner Music, the LP was set to launch the singer-songwriter to stardom but was unceremoniously pulled when, ahead of a performance on ‘Lorraine’, producers mistook a lyric about Chunky Monkey – her favourite flavour of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream – to be about crack and swiftly axed the slot.
While two songs from the record were recorded and released by other artists – Kylie Minogue selected Still Standing for ‘Body Language’ (2003) and Rachel Stevens did Nothing Good About This Goodbye on ‘Come And Get It’ (2005) – the full album has remained unavailable until now.
Speaking to RETROPOP, Alexis recalls: “Overnight, everyone stopped returning my calls and I was like, ‘This is fucked’.
“We had loads of other TV booked, radio booked, press… All of a sudden, everyone just dropped it and there was no democracy to it; you were dependent on the guy at Radio 1 to playlist your record, so there were so many things outside of your control that had nothing to do with the music.”
Flash forward two decades and, after fans on Twitter suggested she try to release her old music, Alexis – now a working mum in IT – wrote a series of posts about her pop star past and went viral on the platform, prompting her to reach out to her former labels and finally have her music heard.
‘Addicted’ is out now on digital platforms, while ‘Cocoon’ is getting a full release on October 6, including her first-ever vinyl album. “I was really surprised that I had fans because I’d always been one step removed from that,” she beams.
“That’s what happens when you’re signed to a label and you get dropped – you don’t really have any indication whether people liked your stuff or who your audience is. So it’s been really lovely to learn who my audience are, actually, and to connect with people. This is why I did music in the first place, so it’s kind of a delayed gratification. A two-decade delayed gratification!”
Listen to ‘Addicted’ below. ‘Cocoon’ is out October 6 on Double J and available to pre-order now.