ALEX G – ” God Save the Animals ” Best Albums Of 2022

Posted: December 25, 2022 in MUSIC

The best Alex G songs feel like they’re on the verge of collapse, stretching their foundation to a breaking point or very nearly losing the plot altogether. These are either simple songs twisted and gnarled into complicated ones, or entire albums’ worth of ideas crammed into four-minute roller-coaster rides. Either way, Alex G songs—and in turn, albums—are really not like anything else in popular indie rock at the moment. 

“God Save the Animals” is the most succinct and effective collection Alex Giannascoli has ever assembled, an album that takes the best bits from his already-expansive discography and places them in a wonderfully compelling conflict. For example, you have the quite beautiful, homespun sunrise of a song “Early Morning Waiting” placed directly beside “Blessing,” a gear-grinding assault on the senses.

‘Runner’ opens with a pretty modest and heartfelt sentiment: “I like people who I can open up to/ Who don’t judge for what I say, but judge me for what I do,” Alex Giannascoli sings over an acoustic guitar progression reminiscent of Soul Asylum’s ‘Runaway Train’. This being an Alex G song, of course, things quickly get a little weird (“They hit you with the rolled-up magazine”), and, by the time he repeats “I have done a couple of bad things,” somehow cathartically grim. You even begin to question whether he’s singing from the perspective of a human being – after all, that scream he unleashes is one of primal anguish, and the album it’s lifted from is called “God Save the Animals”.

But while Giannascoli likes to keep things at least a little bit messy and abstruse, ‘Runner’ is a stunning reminder that no one walks that line between accessible and eccentric songwriting quite like Alex G. More than any other time, he really takes the ball and runs with it.

“I don’t have a lot to say,” Alex Giannascoli, who performs as Alex G, says with a laugh after his first song behind the Tiny Desk. Judging from his discography alone, that’s not something you might ordinarily accuse the Philly singer-songwriter of: nine full-length albums in the last dozen years, in addition to a couple EPs and a film soundtrack.

His prodigious output of melodic, peculiar indie rock has earned him a cult-beloved status. True, he got to play guitar on a couple Frank Ocean tracks — but for a more accurate indication of the fervour of his fanbase, turn your attention to the internet: the hours-long playlists of unreleased Alex G demos painstakingly assembled by fans on YouTube, for example, or the raucous chatter among his fans on message boards. At the Tiny Desk, Alex G and his band dialed down the volume for a handful of songs from across his vast discography. They started with a couple songs from his stellar new album, “God Save The Animals”, and also played some deeper cuts: “Gretel,” a wonderfully creepy track from 2019’s “House of Sugar”, and “Snot,” the closer from 2015’s “Beach Music”. Under the layers of electronics, experimentation and vocal effects on Alex G’s studio records, you might lose sight of Giannascoli’s primary strength as a songwriter and the emotional core of his music. But at the Tiny Desk, the stripped-down sound only underscored the sturdiness of his craft — no explanation required.

Set List: “Runner” “Miracles” “Gretel” “Snot”

Musicians Alex Giannascoli: vocals, guitar Samuel Acchione: guitar, vocals John Heywood: bass, vocals Thomas Kelly: drums Molly Germer: violin, piano

This is what you get when you dive into an Alex G record, despite what some of his more popular songs might suggest. It’s been this way for a while, but never has he captured every side of his songwriter ability quite as well as on “God Save the Animals”

Alex G – ‘God Save The Animals’ out now on Domino Recordings.

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