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Alex Lahey - I Love You Like A Brother (Album Review)

Thursday, 12 October 2017 Written by Laura Johnson

As we get older, there are things that take some figuring out. Love, work, money...they all take a toll. Alex Lahey knows that, and she’s no bullshitter. On ‘I Love You Like A Brother’ she is never less than candid while meandering between realisations.

The Melbourne songwriter's love of Bruce Springsteen and Dolly Parton is apparent throughout her debut LP, with the former’s knack for imbuing straightforward yarns with emotion sitting alongside the sometimes startling openness of the latter.  

But, despite that, it’s Lahey’s own captivating style of storytelling and penchant for pop hooks cribbed from the worlds of rock and punk that wins out.

Coupled with a confidence that shines through her modest outlook, they make ‘I Love You Like A Brother’ charming and wholly addictive. Prepare your neighbours for repeat plays.

Every Day’s The Weekend is a stomping opener. “Fuck work, you’re here, every day’s the weekend,” Lahey sings, discussing balancing her career and love life. She throws in some ‘woah ohs’ for good measure.

The hyperactive pace spills over into the title track, which also delivers the same matter-of-fact wit. “People say we look the same, I don’t think we do,” she sings about her brother. “Maybe it’s the consequence of sharing the same womb.”

Like the best pop songs, though, there is depth behind the melodies and one liners. On I Haven’t Been Taking Care Of Myself Lahey admits: “I gain weight and I drink too much, maybe that’s why you don’t love me as much. I need to start taking care of myself.” It’s a journey through self-deprecation to self-care.

Backpack, which reaches a huge climax thanks to the addition of keys and Lahey’s alto sax, delves deeper into the dilemmas of those hurtling towards their 30s. “You’re running out of time to do the things you want,” she sings. “Leave your bags at the door and stay however long, your accidental existentialism is catching up with me.”

That this LP is Lahey’s first is somewhat astounding. There are intricate compositions lurking beneath the surface of these guitar-driven pop-rock nuggets, while her vocal performance is wildly diverse. On I Want U’s chorus she channels ‘50s pop, while Lotto In Reverse is far more ballsy.

In a recent interview, Lahey said: “I’m a very, very normal person and I think the majority of experiences that I’ve had are pretty parallel to a lot of experiences that many other people have had, and the way that I process them isn’t necessarily weird or different.”

It’s hard not to disagree. Lahey is a multifaceted talent with an ability to breathe new life into well-worn subject matter.

Alex Lahey Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Wed November 08 2017 - LONDON Boston Music Room
Thu November 09 2017 - BRISTOL Louisiana
Fri November 10 2017 - LEEDS Brudenell Social Club
Sat November 11 2017 - MANCHESTER Manchester The Deaf Institute
Sun November 12 2017 - GLASGOW King Tuts Wah Wah Hut

Click here to compare & buy Alex Lahey Tickets at Stereoboard.com.



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