Alexander Ludwig, the Vikings and The Hunger Games star, makes his entrance to country music with a new self-titled EP, available now, May 21st, on all streaming platforms. Read our full review of the project below.
Alexander Ludwig may be best known for his roles as Bjorn on Vikings or Cato in The Hunger Games, but the multi-talented Canadian is now making a foray into country music with his self-titled EP. For his debut project, Ludwig signed with BBR Music Group and joined forces with Jason Aldean’s bandmates, Tully Kennedy and Kurt Allison, who produced the project. The EP also features songs co-written by other Nashville heavy hitters including David Lee Murphy, Jonathan Singleton, and Old Dominion’s Brad Tursi.
Although it may seem like a stretch for a Canadian actor to jump into country music, Ludwig grew up on the genre, first picking up the guitar at age nine. Inspired by the likes of Alan Jackson, George Strait, Kenny Chesney, and Aldean, those influences can be heard throughout the five-song project.
The EP opens with “Love Today,” which shows Ludwig channeling his inner Kenny Chesney on the summery anthem. “I’m moving on // yesterday’s gone, I’ve been waiting on // Chin up, drink up, call an old friend up, It’s good to be alive, kinda smile on my face, yeah it’s gonna be okay,” He sings over the infectious melody and driving guitars. “I love today.” The song is the perfect introduction to Ludwig, the artist, as it’s a catchy country anthem, perfect for summer beach days and Instagram captions.
On “Sunset Town,” Ludwig paints a portrait of moving on from a failed relationship in a beachside town of open-air bars, boats, and happy hours. On the power ballad, Ludwig muses that he’ll “probably end up in some sunset town,” and it’s impossible not to picture him on a beach somewhere.
Of the album’s third track, co-written by Eric Arjes and Tursi, Ludwig reveals that,””How It Rolls” is everything I love about country music. It takes you away and leaves you flying high for three minutes. It teleports you to a feeling, where you’re so enamored by a person that everything in your world appears to be rolling the right way. That’s what all of these songs are — they’re moments in time. We’re just trying to capture those moments properly.”
Of the album’s fourth track, “Malibu Blue,” Ludwig says he played it for his now-wife on their first date. For that reason, the song holds a special place in his heart. “We focused on songs that really resonate,” Ludwig said. “A ‘hit’ isn’t necessarily a No. 1. It’s a song that sticks in your head for years. I remember when I first listened to our recording of ‘Malibu Blue.’ My now-wife and I were on one of our first date together, and I played it for her…I’ll never forget hearing it for the first time.”
The EP closes with “Summer Crazy,” the only track on this project co-written by Ludwig. It celebrates all of the great things that make summertime so magical. The song is akin to a modern version of Kenny Chesney’s “Summertime,” and we can’t wait to blast it at a tailgate.
While many actors try to transition into country music, for some it seems like they’re simply taking on another role. However, for Alexander Ludwig, the EP is truly a passion project. “I’m here for the long haul,” he says. “This isn’t some actor who comes to Nashville and expects the world to be handed to him. That’s not who I am. My heart and soul are in this music, and I’ll do whatever it takes to continue earning my spot in this community.”
Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about upcoming Alexander Ludwig announcements and releases.
Alexander Ludwig is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released tunes on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.