On September 3rd, 2019, Alex G has released, “House of Sugar”. This album is just shy of a two-year gap from its prior, ‘Rocket’. Kicking things off with, “Walk Away” we’re greeted by an interesting mix of reversed vocals and guitar. This is typical for an Alex G introduction, as it demonstrates his rather unique musical prowess. This unique and experimental musical nature is demonstrated throughout the album in its entirety. Featuring the standout song “Gretal” which starts off with some high-pitched keys played over a sweet acoustic bass line, and then when Alex starts singing, it’s reminiscent of Elliott Smith’s soft voice. Another great moment is “Near”, which is not even close to your typical indie folk track. And the lyrics feature the word “You” 125 times.
In the years following Alex G’s debut, “Race”, Alex has demonstrated that his musical range is not so limited and the development of the albums in recent years has showcased this disorganized flurry of sound and emotion. “House of Sugar” is no stranger to this, giving the listeners a showcase to a more diverse side that strays from the indie genre. It continues the weirdness of ‘Rocket’ while adding even more new elements to his songs, like the wide range of vocal styles on display here.
This is a very eclectic album with a great mix of experimentation, from the folk and strings on “Southern Sky” and acoustic “Cow”, to experimental glitchy drums and synths on Project 2, vocoder vocals on Sugar, sax on “SugarHouse” and the already mentioned Near and Walk Away. Country even makes an appearance in “Crime”, and “Bad Man” sees Alex singing in a Southern drawl over a weird instrumental beat. There really is something for everyone on this album.
From introduction to finish, “House of Sugar” has surprised a long-time listener of his music. I was impressed by the direction Alex took with this album and how the composition varied so greatly from track to track. For newcomers first listening to Alex G, I’d recommend they take a listen to, “Beach Music” first… However, “House of Sugar” offers some interesting and new music for listeners of all musical backgrounds.
Try: 1, 3, 4, 6, 10, 12
–Derek Henderson, Jett Vreeman