Beach Music is the seventh album by Lo-fi troubadour Alex G and follow-up to DSU which was no.37 in Norman’s top 50 albums of 2014. Alex G, full name Alex Giannascoli, takes his influences from all sorts of American indie of the ‘90s, mainly the good stuff - Pavement etc. The album was mixed by Jacob Portrait of Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Beach Music is likely to reach the places his other albums didn’t as he has now signed to indie giant, Domino Records.
LP £15.99 WIGLP350
LP on Domino.
- Shipping cost: £3.15 ?
CD £9.99 WIGCD350
CD on Domino.
- Shipping cost: £1.00 ?
Double LP £21.99 WIGLP350X
Limited indies only deluxe opaque blue vinyl edition, with exclusive Alex G 'Live At The Headroom' bootleg heavyweight vinyl LP, on Domino.
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The peaking whispers of Alex G return for all to enjoy on ‘Beach Music’, and while it might have seemed like the boy was doing nothing but releasing albums for a moment there, this is his first original material in a minute. After reissues of pre-’DSU’ albums ‘Trick’ and ‘Rules’, this record slots in as his seventh fucking album. Same as it ever was, though: these nimble indie rock songs revolve around a world where Pavement’s low-key tunes were the greatest pop songs ever and everything is recorded as quietly and economically as possible -- with a surplus of strange to spend afterwards.
‘DSU’ and its Bandcamp counterparts had some proper, high-achieving pop songs, from the spry “Harvey” to the melancholy mini-epic of “Boy” -- this record, in comparison, is shaded in gray scale, a suppressed, sad and extremely subtle record on which Alex continues to pitch his voice high but plays all his instruments with a dose of morose. As ever, minute experiments take place, with “Salt” using programmed drum fills and a guitar tone so bleak you’d think our dude had transfused his sound into Trent Reznor’s. “Look Out” begins on a wobbling bit of ambience before becoming one of the quietest, most sideways songs Mr. G has done: louder than anything is the shaking percussion, which overrides vocals and melody ‘til they give up. “In Love” posits the idea of a sombre balladeer version of our indie rock idealist; his wobbling voice is coupled with with sonorous piano and bleating sax, as if Daniel Johnston had just been kicked off the force for doing the right thing.
Among these snapshots of misery, Alex G proves himself to be a bolder songwriter towards the same ends, with “Britte Boy” opening on a chord sequence courtesy of the Beatles before finding the kind of unique melancholic hum he possessed on ‘DSU’. There’s even a bit of Low-styled slowcore on “Walk”, if you’re ready to deal with it. This might be Alex G’s most sombre moment, and while it’s almost off-putting to hear the quirk evaporate in front of your eyes, repeated listens will elect this a very, very special record.
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