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The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Vanderbilt artist Lexi Anand gets back to her musical roots with ‘Exit’

Anand’s new single “Exit” is the culmination of Anand’s teen years as well as a year of hard work.
The+cover+art+for+%E2%80%9CExit.%E2%80%9D+%28Courtesy+of+Lexi+Anand+and+Talk+of+the+Row%29%0A
The cover art for “Exit.” (Courtesy of Lexi Anand and Talk of the Row)

Not many people can say they are living out their childhood career dreams, but Vanderbilt singer-songwriter Lexi Anand is a special case.

Her latest single, “Exit,” is her first release since her Spring 2022 EP “Young Possibilities.” Opening with a poignant instrumental introduction that gradually builds toward the beat drop of the first chorus, “Exit” is a personal statement that tells the story of a hard decision to free oneself from a person, a job, or a situation and take the “exit door.” Anand says the song’s narrative can be about liberation from either a romantic relationship or a platonic one. 

“The song explores the mental process of choosing to leave and the justifications we sometimes fabricate for staying,” Anand said. 

Musically, though, this latest release means much more to Anand than the lyrics illustrate. She wrote “Young Possibilities” when she was 15 years old and “Exit” when she was 18, and her music has clearly grown up with her. Her earlier songs were bouncy, electronic pop beats, but “Exit” taps more into a soft-pop style that shows the early influence of artists like Alanis Morissette, Jewel and Carole King. The single draws deeply on personal experiences and internal conflicts more so than her previous songs did. In the chorus, Anand sings, “I’m telling myself you’re good for me / But I know you know / The exit is the best place for me.” With these words, she demonstrates a thorough awareness of the nature of her relationship and the painful feelings the other person evokes. “Exit” is a mature representation of Anand’s true style and authentic self; as she came of age, so did her music. 

According to Anand, “Exit” also has special meaning because she wrote it all herself rather than with another artist like her previous music. She believes that writing by herself has allowed her to better and more confidently convey herself.

“It was nice to get back to writing on my own because that’s how I started,” Anand said.

Like all of her songs, “Exit” was born on Anand’s guitar. When she traveled from her native Florida to Nashville last summer, she presented it along with a few other songs to producer Bill McDermott, who chose “Exit” as his favorite. In OmniSound Studios on Music Row, the two planned the production of the single. The next step was to record the track with a full band at Station West recording studio in Berry Hill, providing Anand and McDermott with a selection of instruments and parts from which they could choose to add to the finished song. 

Anand plans to spend the rest of the summer in Nashville promoting her new single and performing it at various venues around the city. She is especially looking forward to playing at The Bluebird Cafe in a few weeks, a spot famous for hosting stars like Garth Brooks, Keith Urban, Taylor Swift and even Anand’s childhood idol Carole King. Though she reaffirmed that she loves her classes and attending Vanderbilt, Anand said she is grateful for the opportunity to spend time in Music City focusing solely on her music career for a few months. 

“I love being here,” Anand said. “All my days are spent in co-writes and rehearsing for shows — it’s a lot of fun. I’m really proud of this song, and I’m really excited to see how it performs.”

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About the Contributor
Isabella Bautista, Deputy Life Editor
Isabella Bautista (‘26) is double majoring in mathematics and psychology and minoring in biological sciences on the pre-medical track in the College of Arts and Science. She is from Easton, Pa. When not writing for The Hustler, she can be found spending hours alone in a piano practice room, photographing Vanderbilt squirrels with her Canon camera or poring over research papers in the lab she works in. She can be reached at [email protected]  
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