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(Sandy) Alex G

Rocket


As a lover of all things experimental, this album hits all of the right spots.

I begin typing this after being truly changed from the seamless transition in the 6th track, “Horse“, into “Brick“. Now plays “Sportstar“. I knew the second the first track “Poison Root” hit my ears that I would have too much emotion and have to write about this one immediately; I was right. My introduction to the VISIONARY VESSEL that is (Sandy) Alex G was an odd one, and not what he deserved. I am ashamed.

I was 17, it was 2015, and the lofi band Teen Suicide was in town. They were opening for an artist named Alex, who I thought would be a pop song cover artist who goes by the same name (absolutely no disrespect to her). I left promptly after Teen Suicide’s set, like a fool. I purchased a record from both artists to support, and fell in love with Alex G’s DSU when I got home. Actually, Alex G is the music of Alex Giannescoli, from Philadelphia. Until signing with Domino Recording Co. (after that same 2015 tour to release his previous 2015 album Beach Music) Alex G was fairly hard to find traces of online due to his entire process from production to release being completely independent.

To this day I’m still convinced Alex G does not create for any audience, but rather, creates just to create. Sometimes I also wonder if he even knows he has an audience. Rocket was recorded to a laptop, as the rest of his releases have been and as his future releases will probably be. A bold move not even your local, underfunded pop-punk band would do. Rocket follows similar style as Alex G’s previous releases, however twists it, and unfolds his previously defined style in an experimental undefinable way.

His eighth full-length LP, Rocket, takes what was once primarily fuzzy, indie rock with noise influences is now a beautiful merge of jazz and country brought to life with piano, fiddle, synth, various brasses, his own ever-changing voice, and lotsa pushed boundaries. Having heard it all thorough several times now, I can tell you this: this album will sway you back and forth from his signature acoustic indie sound in songs like “Judge“, to country in “Proud“, to harsh noise in “Brick”, to jazzy ending track “Guilty” (where did 0:52 even COME FROM?) in a seamless and organic way.

As a lover of all things experimental, this album hits all of the right spots. Previous collaborator with Alex G, Emily Yacina also makes an ethereal appearance on track 4, “Bobby“, harmonizing with Alex G in lyrics from perspective of a despairing protagonist. This 14-track album really has something for everyone.

Check Alex G this summer out on his North American tour from June 2 from Washington, DC to July 8 to Philadelphia PA with Japanese Breakfast and Cende!

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Teen Suicide

Bonus EP


Release: November 12, 2016
Label: Run For Cover Records

You may have noticed Maryland bedroom pop band Teen Suicide’s new release Bonus EP sounds surprisingly vastly different from the signature raw, low production quality sound they’ve steadily maintained since the band’s formation in 2009, and that’s because it totally is. (Or you may not have noticed the release at all, as its release created hardly any buzz even from its own producers. In which case, you’re in for a treat).

Released as b-sides to their previous 26 song LP It’s The Big Joyous Celebration, Lets Stir The Honeypot, Bonus EP closely follows the predominately electronic and upbeat composition of its mothering album. Straying far away from their former signature raw, often melancholic lo-fi sound.

This compilation of b-sides is certainly not below par to its mama album. Rather than sounding like tossed aside b-sides, this album comes off more as a compilation of songs that are just better suited on their own conceptually. With many traces of their former gloomy sound on It’s The Big Joyous Celebration(…), Bonus EP is a catchy pop album through and through. This is especially apparent on “Lost Cause” which was my sunny day car ride anthem for weeks after the EP’s release in November.

Any owners of a physical copy of the album (released on vinyl, cd, and cassette) may have also noticed an insert modestly accrediting “all songs written, recorded, played, etc by Sam Ray”.

Soooo, we bid farewell to John Toohey and Alec Simke, better known as J2 and Torts. For now. The bands only remaining member seems to be Sam Ray-who created the band-which explains the dynamic shift in sound, much more closely resembling his solo project Ricky Eat Acid. This is also because this compilation was initially created to be released under that project.

However, you can catch Teen Suicides’ past bass player John J2 in his current indie pop band Us and Us Only (check them out here!), releasing a full length album on Topshelf Records in the Spring.

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