This heavy heartbreak ballad hints at a powerful year ahead for Alex and Aaron.
Toronto singer-songwriter and pianist Alex Whorms just dropped her second single of 2023, this time a collaboration with fellow Ontarian songwriter Aaron John. The introspective musicians write reflectively on this piano-heavy ballad about a relationship on the rocks, and what, if anything, could have been done to save it.
"I draw inspiration from my love of rock, folk, R&B, k-pop and jazz to create acoustic pop songs with uplifting messages," said John. "My vocal tone is sometimes compared to Jason Mraz or Ed Sheeran. I write with the intent to positively impact the mental health of my listeners."
"I’m a singer-songwriter and film/television composer," said Whorms. "I was classically trained on piano and voice growing up, but now most of my work falls into the indie-folk and jazz-pop styles. I am often compared to Carole King, Ingrid Michaelson and Sara Bareilles!"
Whorms takes inspiration from artists like Regina Spektor, Tori Amos or Carole King, while John leans towards Shawn Mendes, Bright Eyes, or Jason Mraz.
"We are both huge fans of Coldplay, Keane, and Sara Bareilles," said Whorms. "Those influences you can hear on the single."
John began writing "Where Did We Go Wrong?" while he was studying at university, where he experienced a tough breakup.
"It’s actually one of the first songs I ever wrote," said Aaron. "I never really shared it or performed it because I usually like to perform upbeat songs. But last summer it came up in a co-writing session with Alex."
"Aaron texted me a voice memo of his first draft of “Where Did We Go Wrong?” and I was stunned, I immediately loved the idea," said Whorms. "I remember he seemed unsure if it was good enough to continue working on, and that freaked me out because I liked it so much! I was so worried that it wouldn't get recorded."
It's been a decade since Aaron's breakup, and ten years later, the duo have worked together to finish writing the song, and re-arranged it to become a duet.
"I always loved sad breakup songs," said John. "When I went through difficult times, it was always the sad songs that made me feel better. This song comes from a place of vulnerability and expresses the feeling of losing control in a relationship."
"It’s a heartbroken love song about the moment you realize that a relationship is over, but you haven’t totally accepted it yet," said Whorms. "You’re looking for clarity, or closure, trying to figure out if you can fix things somehow, even though, deep down, you know you have to let it go."
Matt Riches produced and mixed the track, and Michael Friedman mastered it. The duo originally planned for the single to feature acoustic guitars and a violin, but after the first session, Riches suggested trying out an indie-pop arrangement with the piano.
"We were able to record everything ourselves, which was cool," said Whorms. "We created the demo at Aaron’s home studio. I recorded my own piano and strings at my place, and all the vocals and guitars were recorded at Matt’s house. During the process, Matt also acquired several vintage synthesizers which we enjoyed playing on the song!"
Alex and Aaron hope their ballad comforts those listening who can relate to the lyrics.
"I think many people experience heartbreak in different kinds of relationships," said Whorms. "So I hope listeners will connect with it and feel some empathy from us."
"I hope that people make connections to their own lives that allow them to find meaning and feel the impact of the lyrics." said John.
You can help support Alex Whorms and Aaron John by following their socials linked below, signing up for their email lists, streaming their music, and donating to their Bandcamp.
Alex Whorms' website: https://www.alexwhorms.com/