- Orchid Tapes
By Rachel Kerr, Daily Arts Writer
Published April 6, 2015
I’ve said it before, I’m saying it now, and I’ll probably say it a few more times: everyone needs to listen to Alex G. I wrote an article about his show in Detroit a couple months ago and included him in my 2014 “best of” list. Now, here I am again, writing about him again. I’ve already apologized to my editors for my obsessive tendencies but remain steadfast in my efforts to inform everyone about G.
So, I’ll give you a little recap of the dude (in case you forgot to read my other articles.) Alex Giannascoli is a 22-year-old D.I.Y. indie rocker from Philly who studied at Temple University and recorded his songs from the comfort of his dorm room, which he uploaded to his Bandcamp profile. I called him the “Internet’s best-kept secret,” and I meant it. He accumulated a small following within the crevices of the web but flew relatively under the radar until last year.
With the debut of his first studio-album, DSU, he earned approval from music authorities like Pitchfork, who crowned him the lo-fi king and best new bedroom singer/songwriter (I’m paraphrasing, but you get the point). The album deals with youth and growing up and all the shitty stuff that comes with it. The lyrics are subtly poetic, the vocals dark and dreamy, the guitar riffs volatile. If Elliott Smith and Built to Spill went on a few dates and then fucked, their lovechild would be Alex G. It’s damn good.
You know what else is damn good? His stuff on Bandcamp. So good that, to my dismay, his label took two full LPs down to remaster and re-release after he started getting attention. Like seriously, one day they just disappeared off the Internet. And on that day, many tears were shed because Trick and Rules feature some of G’s best material. They read much like DSU in length and theme, following the same sort of adolescent narrative in approximately 13-16 songs. Though short, the tracks offer bursts of emotion – sometimes raw and melancholic, other times soft and tender. They’re rough around the edges, a bit bitter upon first bite, but let them play for a few minutes and you’ll start to like the taste.
And now they’re back up on Bandcamp, as well as iTunes and Spotify. To be honest, I can’t really tell that they’ve been remastered, but maybe that’s just because I didn’t mind how they sounded before. Trick, in particular, rivals all of G’s other efforts, including DSU, despite being recorded a few years before. From the opening track, “Memory,” to the closing, “Clouds,” the album feels like an intimate look into your own life. G’s words feel like abstract entries in your own diary.
So if you don’t put on a fucking Alex G song after you’re done skimming this article, so help me God. But seriously, go listen.