(Sandy) Alex G is somewhat of a household name around KJHK, so when it was announced that he would be releasing his third record under Domino, House of Sugar, the announcement was met with plenty of excitement. Coming off his last record, Rocket — which was full of folk and Americana cuts, as well as that unmistakable Alex G sound — it felt like he could go absolutely anywhere with his next project, and rightly so. House of Sugar, although one track and about 4 minutes shorter than Rocket, feels like a very refined conglomeration of everything Alex G has released to this point.
With the 4 singles released prior to the album (“Southern Sky,” “Hope,” “Gretel,” and “Near”) it was clear that Alex G had not so much given up on the Americana/folk style that he had crafted but had improved upon it to create an album that is hard to place under a single genre. “Southern Sky,” “Cow,” and “Crime” have the warm comfort of an alt-country cowboy while the artist also plays what feels like a more electronic parody of that on “Bad Man.” Tracks such as “Walk Away” and “Near” are almost hypnotizing, while the two instrumental tracks feel completely opposite of each other (yet are still just as engaging). It’s rare that a record’s best tracks aren’t its singles, but it seems that Alex G knew exactly what he was doing.
The only gripe I have about the entire album is that I wish there was a studio version of “SugarHouse,” which he said on social media was never officially recorded. Either way, it’s still a great ender, and I can’t wait to hear it live in-person
Almost 10 years in, Alex G continues to impress and exceed all expectations with House of Sugar.
What will Alex G do next? Only time will tell.
Recommended If You Like: Elliot Smith, Spencer Radcliffe, Big Thief
Recommended Tracks: 1 (Walk Away), 4 (Gretel), 5 (Taking), 6 (Near), 11 (Cow), 12 (Crime)
Do Not Play: None
Written by Cole Billings on 10/23/2019