A few weeks ago, an artist who was largely unsung this time last year sold out two pressings of his forthcoming LP on a pre-order. Philadelphia’s Alex Giannascoli, aka Alex G, has been digitally self-releasing music since 2010 and in that time has quietly become one of the most significant “bummer pop” touchstones. His latest effort, DSU, is due to be released on June 17th via Orchid Tapes – the label also responsible for bringing you Ricky Eat Acid’s mind, body and soul-shattering Three Love Songs back in January.
DSU is a 13-track masterpiece that stands as Alex’s first mastered full-length, but it is by no means his first. Alex G has eleven releases under his belt already, including a split 7″ with label-mate R.L. Kelly who champions him as one of her musical heroes. Everyone on the Orchid Tapes roster, in fact, can be found constantly singing his praises online. Similarly, he has already accumulated a dedicated group of fans that share in the excitement that comes with blowing up.
Perhaps the most magical thing about Alex G is that everyone who comes into contact with him seems to fall in love; charmed, as though his songs are secretly spells. There is certainly an intriguing and thoughtful mystery to his music. In a recent interview with The Fader, he referenced Hemingway’s writing technique as an influence on how he constructs songs; “I try and use his method of giving you this thin tip of the iceberg, and hopefully the listener can pick up that there is something under the surface–they don’t know what it is, but they know it’s really scary.”
With subtle yet instantly memorable melodies folding in and out of distorted guitars, experimental noise and manipulated vocals, each of his releases is accessible, versatile and timeless in equal measure. He has an un-matched ability to mix the straight-up pop with the downright weird. But his greatest strength lies in the fact that, comparable as these attributes may be to pre-existing artists, Alex G remains very much his own definition.
DSU will be streaming in its entirety on Thursday, but with a hefty eleven releases under his belt already, let’s take a moment to reflect on some of the moments that led Alex G to where he is today.