Posts Tagged ‘Alex Lahey’

Alex Lahey is a songwriter based in Melbourne. She enjoys cats, Coopers Sparkling, her blue 1999 Corolla, Allen’s Party Mix, fuzz pedals and soft poached eggs.

On her sophomore LP, The Best of Luck Club, 26-year-old Alex Lahey navigates the pangs of generational ennui with the pint half-full and a spot cleared on the bar stool next to her. Self-doubt, burn out, break-ups, mental health, moving in with her girlfriend, vibrators: The Best of Luck Club showcases the universal language of Lahey’s sharp songwriting, her propensity for taking the minute details of the personal and flipping it public through anthemic pop-punk.

Lahey’s 2017 debut I Love You Like a Brother encases Lahey’s knack for writing a killer hook and her acute sense of humor delivered via a slacker-rock package – and, in a way, The Best of Luck Club picks up where that record left off, but sprinting forward. Lahey dives headfirst into a broader spectrum of both emotion and sound through polished, arena pop-punk in the vein of Paramore with the introspective sheen of Alvvays or Tegan & Sara. Here, Lahey documents “the highest highs and the lowest lows” of her life to date.

The first inklings of The Best of Luck Club came together on a shitty guitar while Lahey spent the bulk of her time on the road. The break-out success of I Love You Like a Brother took her beyond the adoration of Australia to her first taste of global touring; festival slots at the likes of Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, and Osheaga; and her American TV debut on Late Night with Seth Meyers. Amidst the frenzy, Lahey found the time to tinker with her thoughts, eventually landing in Nashville for intensive songwriting sessions. Lahey would lock herself in a room for 12-hour days, and ended up churning out more than half the songs for the record. Most importantly, Lahey found The Best of Luck Club thesis while she was there – which explains the familiarity and relatabity through Lahey’s new LP.

“When I was writing all the stuff in Nashville I was really inspired by the dive bar scene there and the idea that at these dive bars there’s no pretentious energy,” she explains. “Whether you’ve had the best day of your life or the worst day of your life, you can just sit up at the bar and turn to the person next to you – who has no idea who you are – and have a chat. And the response that you generally get at the end of the conversation is, ‘Best of luck,’ so The Best Of Luck Club is that place.”

For recording, Lahey returned home to Melbourne, Australia and set up shop for a month at Sing Sing South. Lahey co-produced the album alongside acclaimed engineer and producer Catherine Marks (Local Natives, Wolf Alice, Manchester Orchestra), and plays nearly everything on the record save for drums. The blare of saxophone across several tracks marks Lahey’s first return to the instrument in years, which she said began as a tongue-in cheek decision but more than anything pays homage to her past. Lahey credits Marks for improving her attention to detail, self-confidence, and guiding the process through with a sense of humor.

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Barnstorming album opener “I Don’t Get Invited to Parties Anymore” recounts Lahey struggling with the often isolating pressures of adulthood, explaining,  “It’s funny to think that there are people out there who are sort of putting their social life on ice in order to get their professional selves together, and as a result they’re not getting invited to parties anymore, and it sucks.”

The relatable “Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself” grapples with the overwhelming feeling of burn-out as Lahey reassures it’s okay to have bad days, while the electrified “Misery Guts” hammers at the other end of the emotional spectrum, marking the first time Lahey has written a song in the midst of anger. “I Need to Move On,” which Lahey says began as a musical ode to The Cure in its demo form, is guided back to pop sheen by Marks’ deft hand, chronicling the struggle of getting over a break-up before you’re ready.

“When we were making the record, Catherine and I would refer to different songs as playing dress-ups,” Lahey recalls, explaining all the different roles she deftly inhabits on The Best of Luck Club. “I really think that if you saw a montage of a person writing and making this record – and the places where it all happened – it kind of does look like playing dress-ups, in a way.”

“These songs are almost written for each patron of a dive bar,” Lahey says, “because they’re so varied in the experiences that are being presented and it’s almost as if each one of the songs is someone’s day. I feel writing these songs is me going into The Best Of Luck Club and reflecting, and coming out with each individual song.”

Releases May 17th, 2019
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The Australian punk-pop newbie released her sugar-rush of a debut album this year, packed with crunchy guitars and hooks that could land a barracuda. “I Haven’t Been Taking Care of Myself” is the best of the blazing bunch, and it features Lahey shouting her insecurities from the rooftops. It’s less of a singer-songwriter confession than a drum-thumping power pop anthem, albeit one in which the singer swings through a chorus about weight gain, drinking problems and self-esteem.

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The title of Alex Lahey’s single from her debut LP. certainly if every day was indeed the weekend, there’d be no week to end. But who needs logical paradoxes when you’ve got an index-finger waving, pop-punk-friendly chorus? “Weekend” bustles with a sense of urgency that wasn’t nearly as present on B-Grade University – however excellent it was. The click-clack of the snare rim drives the verses, while Lahey herself boisterously recounts the days of the week through a megaphone over the bridge. Someone call a doctor: Alex Lahey’s got Saturday night fever.

 

Alex Lahey’s debut album ‘I Love You Like A Brother’ revels in its imperfections. In 10 succinctly crafted tracks the Australian newcomer is relatable and brutally honest all while retaining a fair amount of wit, too. A storming debut.

Take the album’s title track in which she addresses her now-repaired relationship with her brother, (“clashed like the band, but we’re now we’re back stronger”) and the spiky opener ‘Every Day’s Weekend’. There’s fun to be had, too. ‘Let’s Call It A Day’ is a belting rock monster in the vein of Weezer and ‘Perth Traumatic Stress Disorder’ has all the hallmarks of what made The Vaccines so damn exciting first time round.

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‘I Love You Like A Brother’ frequently confronts those sticky topics – sometimes jovially and others boldly frank – but know this: Lahey’s debut is a confessional, confident and important arrival.

It’ll be a little shocking if this Aussie power pop songwriter Alex Lahey isn’t an indie rock superstar by the time she releases her next LP. On I Love You Like a Brotherfrom the heart-melting title track to the head-bobbing “Awkward Exchange,” Lahey demonstrates the same perfect balance of radio-ready pop savvy and confessional lyricism that once put Cheap Trick on the map. Not bad for a songwriter who’s still in her early 20s.

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Alex Lahey is a 24 year old singer songwriter from Melbourne , Australia who has just signed to Dead Oceans Records. who have just re-released her EP and it is an excellent listen. Lahey tackles your traditional 20-something issues including relationships and life choices. Like her fellow Aussie, Courtney Barnett, Lahey has some wonderful lyrics; often at her own expense. For years, we’ve heard that rock ‘n’ roll is dying. Fun fact: It’s not true. Rock ‘n’ roll is alive and well in people like Melbourne, Australia for newcomer Alex Lahey, whose debut full-length I Love You Like a Brother is a bracing blast of big hooks, bigger guitars and biggest fun. Lahey has a tremendous talent for spotting the meaningful moments of day-to-day life, especially relationships, and then cleverly turning them into irresistible anthems. In a year that sometimes felt like drowning in bad news, I Love You Like a Brother is a rock ‘n’ roll lifeline.

She’s going to have some dates in the UK  including a stop Bodega. 20th March 2018, She’s firmly planted on my must-see list.

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Alex Lahey has taken full advantage of her debut US late night TV appearance by crushing her performance on Late Night With Seth Meyers.

If there were any pre-show jitters you wouldn’t have even known as the Melbourne artist flawlessly belted out her single, Every Day’s The Weekend.

As an extra special nod back to Australia, Lahey’s drummer had the ‘YES’ tag featured on his kit, acknowledging the result of this week’s marriage equality vote.

Musical guest Alex Lahey performs “Every Day’s the Weekend” for Late Night with Seth Meyers

Alex Lahey

Alex Lahey likes to keep it real. The 24-year-old Australian musician takes her rise up the ranks from music student to ‘an artist with one of the most highly anticipated debut albums of 2017’ in her stride.
Lahey sees her life as ordinary: “I fall in love, I have a family, I go out with my friends, I like to have a drink.” However, most people can’t distil those universal experiences into wry, punchy indie-rock songs – three minute odes to millennial angst and all the complicated feelings that come with it. Alex Lahey can. ‘Love You Like A Brother’ is proof.

Born and raised in Melbourne, Lahey initially studied jazz saxophone at university but unimpressed with “learning music in such a regimented way” she switched to an arts degree (see her ‘B-Grade University’ EP for more details). Her tenure with cult music collective Animaux allowed Lahey the musical anarchy she yearned – hell, she booked the band their first gig before they’d even prepared a single song.

Lahey stepped out on her own once she began to write songs that didn’t fit Animaux’s party space. Songs that were inspired the two people she considers the greatest songwriters of all time, Dolly Parton and Bruce Springsteen. Songs that got her noticed at a local industry conference and scored her a solo management deal. Lahey had graduated.

The ‘Love You Like A Brother’ album drops fresh off the back of Lahey’s breakthrough in 2016. Last year her ‘You Don’t Think You Like People Like Me’ single was inescapable and landed her a spot in Australian radio network triple j’s prestigious Hottest 100 of 2016. The song’s universal tale of rejection took Lahey global – its message, she says, is the flipside of the usual break-up scenario: “Yeah, you’re right. It’s not me. It IS you.”

And that no-shit-taken attitude is the backbone of ‘Love You Like A Brother’. From the stomping title track ‘Brother’ to the gently moving ‘Money’, Lahey’s debut long-player tells it like it is.

The album found Lahey back in the studio with production partner, and one-half of Holy Holy, Oscar Dawson (Ali Barter, British India). The pair pushed each other to create an intimate sonic experience that comprises scuzzy guitars thrumming over pop melodies, helmed by Lahey’s unfussy but arresting vocals.

The album’s songs traverse the everyday themes of family, heartbreak and identity. Lahey tells her stories with character… and dry humour – “I’ve figured it out,” she sings in ‘Awkward Exchange’, “you’re a bit of a dick” – but there are also moments of darkness. In ‘Taking Care’ she muses, “I’ve gained weight and I drink too much, maybe that’s why you don’t love me as much.”

‘Taking Care’ was written after Alex had an eye-opening conversation with her mother. “I was seeing someone who I knew wasn’t treating me well, and chose to ignore it, and I think my mum had picked up on it as well. She just said to me at the end of the conversation, ‘Alexandra, whatever you do, just make sure that you take care of yourself’.”

The poignant ‘Backpack’ is a tribute to Lahey’s latest relationship, and the unsure start it got off to. “When we first started going out, they warned me about how they’re really flighty, and I was like, ‘I just want you to stay. And I don’t know if you are.’ It’s just saying it’s hard to hold someone down if they’re always thinking about the next place that they’re going to. It’s hard to give someone a hug when they’re walking away. And sometimes it’s good to chase them down and be like, ‘Hey, I’m here.’”

And, in case the album’s title hadn’t given it away already, there’s a track for her brother too. “We don’t get a choice/So let’s stick together,” screams Lahey in ‘Brother’. That angsty love you’re hearing is easily explained by Lahey, “My brother and I clashed for a long time, and then all of a sudden as adults, we’re really close. I feel like this song is my gift to him.”

The themes of Alex Lahey’s album might be universal, but it’s the unique approach she takes unpacking them that’s earned her millions of Spotify streams, buzz-worthy showcases at SXSW and festival sets alongside the likes of Flume, The Kills, At The Drive-In and James Blake as well as guesting on tours with Catfish & The Bottlemen, Tegan & Sara and Blondie.

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Produced, engineered and mixed by Oscar Dawson
Mastered by Matt Redlich

Alex Lahey – vox, guitars
Kai Chen Lim – bass
Sam Humphrey – guitars
Lachie McGeehan – drums

Alex Lahey was going to draw comparisons to Courtney Barnett. She’s a young singer-songwriter from Melbourne who, initially and somewhat incorrectly, comes across like a witty slacker-rocker similar to Barnett. Lahey’s recent debut I Love You Like A Brother boldly underscored the fact that she’s onto something very different. Songs like “Lotto In Reverse” and “I Haven’t Been Taking Care Of Myself” burst into huge, cathartic choruses more akin to ‘90s and ‘00s alt-rock than anything in today’s indie sphere. Lahey’s got a way of capturing the particular anxieties and frustrations of the listless years of post-college life. And while her songs convey all that, those giant hooks tell a different story: the triumphant and defiant part where you kick the door down to life’s next phase.

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Alex Lahey – “Lotto In Reverse” from ‘I Love You Like A Brother’ out October 6th, 2017 on Dead Oceans.

Alex Lahey

Earlier this year, Melbourne’s Alex Lahey released her debut EP, “B-Grade University”, which is the kind of startlingly impressive debut that you just know is going to catch on . It’s five songs and with such super-specific lyrics which Alex normally delivers in a melodic deadpan that each one is instantly distinguishable from the rest.

Each song has a line or a hook that that gets stuck in your head right away, for one reason or another. “I went to B-Grade University and got myself an arts degree,” she sings on the chorus to opener “Ivy League.” “Let’s go out and have fun tonight / let’s go out and get drunk tonight,” goes the next song “Let’s Go Out.” It may sound simple on paper, but it sounds like a rallying cry when Alex Lahey sings it.
The best line might be the intro to “You Don’t Think You Like People Like Me.” “All I want is to have cleanskin wine, and watch Mulholland Drive with you.” Non-Australians may need to look up what cleanskin wine is, but otherwise, the same people who look forward to a night in with cheap alcohol and a hip counter-culture film are the people who are gonna dig Alex Lahey’s music. (On that note, there’s also a song on this EP called “Wes Anderson.”) Instrumentally, the EP pulls from the last two decades of indie rock. It’s punky, but mannered.


Being a wordy, deadpan indie rocker from Melbourne, Alex has of course gotten some Courtney Barnett comparisons (and while she admires Courtney’s music, she’s tired of them). I’d say she does sound a bit like Courtney sometimes, particularly on “Wes Anderson” and closing track “L-L-L-Leave Me Alone,” and this EP has me feeling about as excited as Courtney’s debut EP did. Get hip to Alex now .

Thanks to Brooklyn Vegan

Alex Lahey was among the most spoken ablout at Big Sound in Brisbane the Australian Equivalent of SXSW  and naturally some of that talk amounted to comparisons between the 24-year-old Melbourne singer-songwriter and homegrown star Courtney Barnett.

Sure, both Lahey and Barnett are young, Australian based singer-songwriters known for their wry and observational lyricism, or as Lahey herself says, “We’re both Australian women with brown hair who play Telecasters.” , as Lahey’s concern, it’s not only lazy but also sexist to compare the two of us. “I’m just not convinced that those comparisons would be happening if I was a guy.

“I’m a huge fan of Courtney I think she’s one of the best songwriters in the world and her values and what she stands for are beautiful and brilliant, so I’m humbled to be compared to that. But I don’t think that it’s accurate, especially from a musical perspective, we play very different types of music.”

The songwriter studied saxophone at uni and works as a session saxophonist. She picked up a guitar at 13 and began teaching herself, writing songs because other people’s were too hard to learn.