Alex G. is back and I couldn’t be happier. Here’s the catch: he was never “not” back.
For those of you who do not know, Alex G. is the solo project of Alex Giannascoli, a singer songwriter known for unconventionally haunting vocals, well-crafted lyrics, and lo-fi production value. He had his start through the popularity of his Bandcamp page (sandy.bandcamp.com) where he has a rather prolific collection of tunes. He is hands down my favorite discovery of 2014. I have never heard an artist so beautifully unique.
“Trick” is the latest remastered and distributed album from his bandcamp collection. When it comes to describing his sound, I am lost for words. Its complexity makes it hard to describe the album in few enough words, so I will point out a few of my favorite tracks instead.
The album starts with a downbeat lull. “Memory” introduces the strangeness of “Trick” well. It begins with basic chord progressions and cymbal heavy percussion, and then Alex’s much-anticipated vocals murmur the undecipherable lyrics. The sudden presence of high-pitched tones causes the song to have an unsettling feeling. The song closes with a sample that cuts off suddenly, transitioning to the next track, “Forever.”
“Forever” is one of my very favorite tracks on this album. It reminds me the most of his first release, “DSU.” There is a catchy melody layered on top of the ever so moody guitar verses. There is a hint of saxophone at the end that fully completes the song.
Following “Forever,” is the popular “Animals.” This third song features Alex’s wobbly vocals and wonderful songwriting skills. It starts with the lyrics “I get sick when I get stoned/ everything we do/ we do alone.” This song is another favorite (as is most on this album).
The next song changes things up drastically. “String” starts with a strong finger plucked bass line and with groovy guitar effects (very 70s). Things start to feel more familiar when the vocals start, yet the over all sound mixes a funky 70s influence with a Foxygen-esque chorus complete with tambourines and all.
The next best song in my opinion is the twelfth track titled “Change,” which starts with a very Elliot Smith style of lo-fi acoustics. Even the vocal style is similar to Smith—yet still distinctly Alex G.
That track that follows is a beautiful instrumental piano piece. Let me just emphasize beautiful one more time. It’s really a wonderful end before the bonus tracks, which are also great songs.
You really can’t go wrong with any of the songs on this album. It is truly another masterpiece filled with emotion and brilliance. As you can tell, Alex G. is one of my favorites.
Recommended If You Like: Elliot Smith, Youth Lagoon, old Modest Mouse, lo-fi slacker vibez
Recommended Tracks: 12 (Change), 2 (Forever), 15 (Sarah), 3 (Animals), 14 (Adam), 4 (String), and 16 (16 Mirrors)
Do Not Play: 11 (Mary)
Written by Rachel Bennett on 04/06/2015