Artist of the Month

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November 2015
Alex G
"Beach Music
Amid increasingly high/steep expectations, Alex Giannascoli, a.k.a. Alex G, released his latest full-length album Beach Music via Domino. After a jarring, noise-laden percussive “Intro,” “Bug” crawls under your skin and skillfully into your head as its crisp guitar lays the foundation for the song’s mesmerizing tone, stripping down temporarily instrumentally - “and when you go there/you stay there/bug in the crosshair/you stay there.” A momentary electric guitar swell marks the return to movement.
The scratch of acoustic guitar chord changes, and a gloomy organ develops the rained-in, haunting sound of “Thorns.” Conversely, to the weathered weary sound of its predecessor, “Kicker” immediately jumps into action as advancing percussion/guitar dictates a forward blitz of lyrically rhymed oppositions - “White bird in a black cloud… big fight for a small right.” Wrapping tightly woven imagery into a steady downhill stomper, the track sits smooth, whilst retaining a gritty after bite.
“Salt” returns to that head-in-the-clouds, daydreaming ethereal bedroom vibe. Soaked in keys and accented by electronic percussion, the scene is set. “Into my big cloud, I’m flying all the time.” As he watches, opposing deep and child-esque soft vocals stir in a chanting manner, Alex questioningly reemerges - “Did you hear what I said? I’ve got salt in my head,” resolving his issue in a calm yet despairing manner. “Today I washed my hands, I want to be alone, I want to fry.” “Brite Boy” lifts with light-as-a-feather percussion, and its innocent beach-strolling instrumentation is underscored by a playful call-and-return vocal dialogue. Ushered in by the tandem of dashing trumpet and dreary keys, the artist tears himself open, and is left emotionally exposed. “Crying I’m running in love/losing in love/scratching in love/wired in love.”
Alex G continues to evolve, creating songs that aren’t afraid to expose life’s knack for pulling one individual simultaneously in multiple directions. That’s why Beach Music thrives in its ability to paint grey clouds within a sunny landscape or a ray of light bursting through a downpour. His honest, hypnotic melodies and its murkiness pull you in. - Michael Colavita

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Brown Recluse Soundtracking the Change of Seasons at KFN March 16

Brown Recluse Soundtracking the Change of Seasons at KFN March 16

The warmer weather might have you in the mood for sunny tunes and the summer to come. If so, Brown Recluse will provide the soundtrack to those feelings when they play Kung Fu Necktie tonight. The local outfit has a way of mixing 60s sunshine pop with arcade 80s sounds. They self-describe themselves as Baroque-pop, and there are bits of Belle and Sebastian-esque moments disbursed throughout their music. The daydream-y quality of their songs can get you so lost in its warm glow that you almost don’t notice the sometimes eerie lyrics that lay underneath their soundscapes, which is probably one of the many reasons why well-respected indie label Slumberland Records have picked them from the orchard of talented Philly acts making more noise in the blogosphere. Brown Recluse’s well-crafted, sunshiny songs are the perfect transition into spring. Expect to hear some new tunes from the indie popsters this evening. They’ll be joined by the synth-pop laments of Steve Goldberg’s latest project Resistor and Brooklyn’s We Can’t Enjoy Ourselves. Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front Street, 7:30pm, $8, 21+ - Maura Filoromo


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