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Alex G and the Art of Interesting Selections


“It was this song ‘Like a Stone’ by Audioslave,” Alex said. “It got here on the radio one night and I used to be like, ‘What the …? That is one of the best thing I’ve ever heard!’”

“Blessing” is an outlier sonically, though not thematically, on the brand new album. Its title included, “God Save the Animals” riffs on religious imagery and sometimes even evokes a form of funhouse-mirror Christianity (“God is my designer,” a surreal, helium-voiced Alex sings on one song, “Jesus is my lawyer”). Though Alex wasn’t raised in a non secular household, he admits that spirituality has been on his mind these past few years, and that a few of the songs likely sprang from that a part of his subconscious. “I don’t really have a set of beliefs,” he said, “however it looks as if a spot everyone has to go sooner or later.”

Even when Alex’s music has never felt especially spiritual, there has long been a recurring sense of morality in it. Terrible things occur in and across the margins of his songs — nuclear bombs; fentanyl overdoses; bottomless longing — but never without the potential of renewal and carrying on.

Similarly, one of the vital stirring moments on the brand new album comes in the course of “Runner,” which until then has been a mild-mannered lite-rocker within the vein of Soul Asylum’s “Runaway Train.” “I even have done a pair bad things,” Alex sings in a nice voice, after which repeats the road several times, his voice becoming increasingly anguished until it turns right into a bloodcurdling scream. It’s a gaping rupture within the song, but just as casually, it continues on.

That it sounds nothing quite like anything he’s released before goes without saying — as does the proven fact that it’s still in some way so Alex G. “Once I’m pondering of a song,” he said, “it’s not like, ‘This may be a terrific ‘me’ song. I’m similar to, ‘This may be a cool song.’”

“And so it seems like me because I don’t know what I’m doing,” he added, his laughter rising against the wind. “But I’m pursuing it so far as I can go.”

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