3 Songs for People Who Say They Don’t Like Everclear

The Portland, Oregon-born alternative rock band Everclear was fronted by singer Art Alexakis, a talented songwriter who dealt with a great deal of ups and downs in his life. From parental abandonment to drug addiction to the death of loved ones, Alexakis struggled to find his way in the world. But when it came to songwriting, he always had a knack.

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He put much of what he experienced in his songs and while it may have taken the artist years and years to earn the recognition he sought, when he got it, he was as ubiquitous as any in the 1990s. Through perseverance and personal struggle, Alexakis created some phenomenal music. And here below, we wanted to dive into a trio of songs that stand the test of time and that any music fan can get behind.

[RELATED: Everclear’s Art Alexakis Talks the High Highs and Low Lows of His Musical Life]

“Father of Mine” from So Much for the Afterglow (1997)

An autobiographical song from the band about the lead singer’s father’s departure. Art Alexakis tells the story and shares his emotional state of being as only he can, with a catchy guitar-driven rhythm and a voice that is both entertaining and engenders sympathy. He sings about difficult subjects like domestic abuse and being a father now himself and how he’ll be better than the man before him. At the height of alternative rock in the mid-1990s, this song was perfect for radio stations and, thus, it was all over the airwaves. But today it still holds up as a buzzy, thoughtful toe-tapper. On the track, Alexakis sings,

Father of mine
Tell me where have you been?
You know I just closed by eyes
My whole world disappeared
Father of mine
Take me back to the day
Yeah, when I was still your golden boy
Back before you went away

I remember blue skies walking the block
I loved it when you held me high
I loved to hear you talk
You would take me to the movie
You would take me to the beach
You would take me to a place inside
That’s so hard to reach

“Santa Monica” from Sparkle and Fade (1995)

Perhaps the band’s most popular song, on the face of it the track is a supremely catchy. But diving a little deeper, it’s also about leaving the world and separating from reality. Not coincidentally, Alexakis once tried to commit suicide in Santa Monica, California, where he lived as a teenager. That came after his then-girlfriend actually did kill herself. And this song has a feeling of letting it all go—whether the world is ending or the singer’s life is ending is up for interpretation. But masterfully, all this is packed into a few lines and delivered in a way that makes you want to sing along. Offers Alexakis in his lyrics,

I am still living with your ghost
Lonely and dreaming of the west coast
I don’t wanna be your downtime
I don’t wanna be your stupid game

With my big black boots and an old suitcase
I do believe I’ll find myself a new place
I don’t wanna be the bad guy
I don’t wanna do your sleepwalk dance anymore
I just wanna see some palm trees
I will try and shake away this disease

We can live beside the ocean
Leave the fire behind
Swim out past the breakers
Watch the world die
We can live beside the ocean
Leave the fire behind
Swim out past the breakers
Watch the world die

“I Will Buy You a New Life” from So Much for the Afterglow (1997)

This song is about dreaming, hope, desperation, and the result of either having too much or not enough money. For Alexakis, he knows all about all of these. A former heroin addict who has seen the worst of life, he also became world famous and a well-known rock star. At one time, he used to fantasize about living in a mansion and then, when his band took off, he could. Here, in this track, he talks about all of the above, singing,

Here’s the money that I owe you
Yeah, so you can pay some bills
I will give you some more when I get paid again
I hate those people who love to tell you
Money is the root of all that kills
They have never been poor
No, they’ve never known the joy of a welfare Christmas

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Photo by Ashley Osborn / Courtesy Press Here Publicity

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