‘Beach Music’ is a misleading title for Alex G’s seventh album, because it’s the first to not be rooted to one single place. Previously, Alex Giannascoli was either the go-to bedroom recording artist, or the pride of Philadelphia. He’d make albums off the cuff and in spontaneous but meaty-constructed sessions. A Bandcamp favourite, he swiftly became a self-releasing king of the underground.
Things changed in late 2014, when Giannascoli was whisked off on world tours, taking way out of the bedroom confines. The result is a full-length that pens down thoughts like a scatterbrain trying to find their keys.
That’s not a disadvantage to ‘Beach Music’. When Giannascoli begins to settle into a rhythm like on the softly-softly one-two of ‘Bug’ and ‘Thorns’, he’ll bring a hard-hitting ice breaker like ‘Kicker’ or ‘Walk’. Guitars channel Low and Pinback, while otherwise muted vocals begin to climb out of their own skin. Change suits the way he writes.
Like the previous cult favourites he has to his name, ‘Beach Music’ hits gorgeous highs without making a big fuss. ‘Brite Boy’ is a treasure that’s been buried six feet under, while ‘Salt’ strangely mixes Alex’s staples with light, alien-like drum patterns. Alex G has the ability to sound uneasy and perfectly in his own comfort zone at the same time. This record was defined by never being in the same place at once - each song was recorded in a different location - but there’s a glue holding everything together.