Alex G, also known as (Sandy) Alex G, is a singer-songwriter and lo-fi indie rock artist. Every time I hear a song that he released I think: “man, he wrote another song that I wish I wrote”. He is an extremely prolific songwriter but only a small fraction of his music is on Spotify and Bandcamp. There is a whole magical world of older tracks on Youtube that he seems to be embarrassed of, or at least he feels the songs do not represent him as an artist anymore. He refuses to play some of the older songs which is totally his right as an artist and a human but I wish I at least had an album version of songs like Nintendo 64.
Nintendo 64 is a very early Alex G song and his style has developed further since then but there are some key elements that make an Alex G track:
- Strong character narrative
- Nostalgic lyrics/melodies/harmonies that make you feel like you are the character
- Lo-fi Garageband production all done with a cheap Samson microphone and many layers
- Melancholic themes
Bug is another one of my favorite Alex G songs. The story that this song is telling is so raw and dynamic. It makes me think of conflicted relationships I have had with different humans. The relationships that are filled with flakiness and other frustrating behaviors but are also filled with love and understanding. The beauty of the oblique nature of these lyrics is you could interpret them multiple different ways.
Bug is obviously a continuation and refinement of those key Alex G musical elements.
My last example of pure Alex G goodness is Gretel. I believe this is the first album ditching the Samson mic and using a “proper” microphone (doesn’t really matter to me). This song has many layers and is sandwiched between distorted samples. Gretel is from his most recent album House of Sugar and the whole album has this theme of craving and lack of satiation and is loosely paralleled to the story of Hansel and Gretel. The lyrics speak from a character’s perspective that I think a lot of us can relate to: trying to be a good person is a difficult and bold thing to do. I don’t believe in good or bad people, only actions that are harmful, neutral or beneficial to both yourself and other humans. The sentiment is the same though. Choosing beneficial actions is hard and not always cool but is, in my opinion, necessary to embrace the beauty of life.
Alex G is dope. Enough said.