At kindergarten age, she felt equally at home looking at picture books as she did performing on stage, and at this point, she can look back on a long trajectory as a singer-songwriter: Alex Mayr’s life is basically a tale of passion. In 2015, the Mannheim native presented her EP Gut gegen Böse as evidence that German-language pop music can exist and even thrive outside the world of mainstream radio. This year’s debut album Wann fangen wir an? was the final proof, in true DIY fashion: While Mayr wrote all the songs and pre-produced everything from keyboard, piano, guitar and violin to vocals, Konrad Henkelüdeke and Konstantin Gropper (Get Well Soon) then crafted precisely arranged, lush sounds for each of the 13 tracks. The result breaks every mold, is instrumentally versatile and has many poetic layers, without devolving into kitsch – the artist herself made sure of that. At the previously uncharted borders between chanson and modern pop sensibility, between indie charm and chamber orchestra production, Alex Mayr creates music that recognizes introspection as something that can be full of life.