Words About Music
Alex G “DSU”
If you’re looking for biographical information, you’re not likely to find any here. The only thing I know about the enigmatic Alex G project is that the eponymous Alex is the lead singer and sole consistent member. He’s also from Philadelphia and “DSU” is one of several musical releases you can find on his BandCamp (it’s free if you want to check it out). But biography isn’t everything. Sometimes the music has to speak for itself, and on “DSU” it certainly does. Alex G combines the subtle lo-fi of early Mountain Goats and Daniel Johnston with the 90s slacker rock vibes of Dinosaur Jr. and Pavement. The music on here is definitely weird and adds enough personality to distinguish it from the countless other BandCampers doing something similar.
Not every lyric on this album is decipherable, but that doesn’t always matter. Alex seems like the kind of person that intends to make some of his lyrics indecipherable for a reason. There seems to be an artistic purpose with every musical direction and decision on this album. The slacker-ness doesn’t detract from Alex’s ultimate vision. Each shifted pitch and mumbled lyric is meant to be. It all kind of adds to the obscure feeling this record gives off. “DSU” isn’t meant to be understood on the first listen.
The songs on this album have a quality that makes me feel like they’re incredibly personal, as if they come from Alex’s daily life. “DSU” feels like a slice of Alex’s life. Songs about friendships and relationships pervade this record. Alex G seems like an outsider in the musical sense of the word, creating simplistic songs that still feel strange and not quite in touch with reality. And that’s something I really dig about the music on here. Lyrical content aside, the instrumentation is fairly simple and that’s totally okay. Alex G doesn’t want to lie to us with crazy guitar solos, though he is going to throw in feedback and electronically synthesized glitches every now and then.
“DSU” is not your average indie rock record. It appears regular at first glance, but there’s obscurities in the lyrics and musicality that set it apart from the countless “90s throwback” bands. I look forward to hearing more from Alex G in the future as I imagine he will only get better and better at crafting these sorts of songs. I will also dig into his back catalog as all his music is available for free.
SCORE – 7.6
BEST TRACKS – After Ur Gone, Serpent Is Lord, Harvey, Black Hair, Axesteel, Sorry, Promise, Hollow, Boy