SANDY Alex G at Mississippi Studios

SANDY Alex G live by Dakota Smith

Portland – “You all seem like nice people” was wunderkind Alex G’s reaction to a crowded Mississippi Studios, where he proved that his uncanny knack for songwriting has spanned far beyond the basements of Philadelphia house shows. No longer a solo act, SANDY Alex G is the songwriter’s new live experience that has brought his original stripped down indie to life—and to a new audience. The show proved what many audience members already knew—Alex G can write a fucking song.

Born from the hot, manic Philadelphia house show scene, Alex Giannascoli could usually be found opening for other more recognizable players. As he began to churn out an impressive amount of material, all from the comfort of his bedroom, with each song more simplistically eloquent regarding post-adolesence and the shortcomings of the human experience, fans and music execs began to notice. By 2012, he was approached by Mat Cathran of Elvis Depressedly and signed with Orchid Tapes shortly after. Trick was released in November 2012, Rules in January of the same year, and his newest full length, DSU, in 2014. Giannascoli has earned recognition from Pitchfork and Fader in that time, inspiring mounting interest and a palpable hunger for what’s to come.

There is a clear endearing quality to Alex G although his songs aren’t exactly as endearing as they are honest. His stage presence was what you’d expect it to be—he moved slowly around a microphone, quietly hunching above it as he sang in a light falsetto, almost always looking down. Though seemingly reclusive, it is apparent that he actually bears his soul to the crowd—and there is a lot of it to go around. Not all of his lyrics are outright in their meaning though, “Mary” being one of the most obvious examples of his ability to manipulate his own song’s messages. “Mary” begins as what could be a description of a love interest: “Mary is the girl that I want to kiss / she’s got big red eyes / and big red lips.” By the end of the last verse, it is clear that Mary is not a symbol of passion after all, but the destruction of it: “Mary is the girl that leaves you to rot / she says, / I am real and you are not.” Many of Alex G’s songs are composed this way, much like his own opinion of the world: hopeful but ultimately disappointing.

The set was a collection of what Alex G has produced to date, including the self-deprecating “Wicked Boy” and “Harvey” which aims to analyze the importance, or maybe not-so-importance of success. It isn’t only the songwriting elements that attribute to Alex G’s importance as a musician, his production is just as vital. Ambient and distorted in some instances, but tightly and carefully played in others, his songs all have the novel Alex G vibe without sounding like a repeat of the same. SANDY Alex G’s live show is simply everything Alex G is and will be known for: sincerity in songwriting that ultimately culminates to an artistry well beyond his years.

Don’t miss SANDY Alex G’s current tour; track dates here. Like the band on Facebook for updates on album releases.

Photo of SANDY Alex G live by Dakota Smith

Dakota Smith

Dakota Smith

Raised in Los Angeles by two former Deadheads, Dakota was bound to love music. The soundtrack of her childhood would include both Elvis’ (Presley and Costello), Frank Sinatra, Oasis, Nirvana and Van Morrison. Dakota left the comfort of sunny Los Angeles for the snow-covered Flatirons of Boulder, Colorado to pursue her English degree at the University of Colorado. While studying abroad in London during her last year of college, she changed her mind about a career in academia and began to write. She moved to Portland shortly thereafter. When she’s not working on her collection of poetry and essays, or dancing, she can be found listening to anything from Acid Rap to Folk to Indie Rock.

Follow her on twitter in case she says something funny: @LikeTheStates
Dakota Smith

Latest posts by Dakota Smith (see all)