“You know good music makes me wanna do bad things,” says Sandy (Alex G) on the song “In My Arms” which is off of his newest album.
Sandy (Alex G) released his sixth album “House of Sugar” this month and with that comes a release that will surely bring in a new wave of fans that will cling to his love of genre-bending, as well as all-around good music.
Throughout the thirteen-track piece, Sandy (Alex G) weaves in references from the childhood tale “Hansel and Gretel.” Whether that be the song titled “Gretel” which hints at Gretel’s eventual escape from her own capture, or simply the album name representing the residence made of candy owned by the evil witch in the story. Before the album’s release, came four E.P’s to create hype for “House of Sugar.” The aforementioned track “Gretel” finds itself placed in three of these, ultimately becoming the shining star of the album.
Even with Alex G’s reliance on fairy tales in this album, most songs on the album have a district flare, each one different from the last. Essentially, this album is the musical representation of what a sped-up heartbeat looks like. With its fast-paced tunes combatting the slow, drawn-out tracks, “House of Sugar” creates a roller coaster that straps listeners in from start to finish, and everybody’s asking for a second go at it.
“Cow” is one song that instantly caught my attention. The simple strumming of the guitar starts off the song and draws you instantaneously into Sandy (Alex G)’s prime element. The song, based on a declaration of love, has a chorus that starts with the line “You big old cow.” It’s oddities like such that gives the musician his brand and make him beloved by fans. This weird, beautiful song about heifers places itself at number one solely for its oddball nature yet overall catchiness.
Further, songs such as “Hope,” “Bad Man,” and “Near” bring a desired balance to the album, utilizing more modern sounds to break out of the confined “indie” box Alex G found himself trapped in before, as seen in previous albums such as “Trick” from 2015. Of these three the one that stuck out most to me was “Bad Man.” In this song, Sandy (Alex G) has done a 180 on the rest of the album and picked up a southern accent. Upon first listen, the cowboy in the west aspect of it all is laughable, but quickly becomes serious when one realizes the piece is a commentary on war and the dropping of bombs.
Obviously, the lyricism of Sandy (Alex G) is one of his strong suits. However, songs like “Project 2” have a raw feel, directly coming from the fact that there are no lyrics whatsoever. Though this may not be the song that soars high on the charts, there’s a certain beauty in knowing Sandy (Alex G) doesn’t need or want to come through the speakers of your 2009 Toyota Corolla blasting your local radio station. This song has very similar remnants of The 1975’s second album, “I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful yet So Unaware of It,” especially with the reliance on synth noises. “Project 2” is simply the result of an artist having free reign in the studio.
Before the release of this album, I only had a few of Sandy (Alex G)’s songs in my repertoire. Yet with this album I found a newfound love for the relatively underground artist, as I’m positive it will for others around the world. To finish off his personal symphony, the musician decided to only release a live version of the title track, “House of Sugar,” something only someone who has a great vocals like (Alex G) would do. Of all his talents, Sandy (Alex G) has ultimately mastered the art of staying authentic to one’s musical identity while also being digestible by the masses.