On a sunny Tuesday morning in Seattle, Alex Lahey’s song Every Day’s the Weekend had me dancing around my room in my underwear. I had just texted a guy that I was having complicated feelings for, and the upbeat drums and punchy guitar sounds of Lahey’s leading single were the perfect soundtrack for me to mosh to in a pit of wild emotion. In fact, for a young adult in a constant state of existential crisis, all of Lahey’s songs are ridiculously relatable. The 24-year old musician, hailing from Melbourne, Australia, takes her relatively normal life of being a young woman and constructs catchy indie-rock vignettes that explain the emotional turbulence of being thrown into adulthood.
At first listen to Lahey’s debut album, I Love You Like A Brother, the songs are upbeat and whimsical, with rockin’ beats that will have you shifting your shoulders and wiggling your butt. Lahey’s voice is full and clear- it’s that kind of low feminine voice that fills your ears with velvety tones, and it’s strong enough to stand on its own without backup singers. She is clearly versatile enough to sing slower, sweeter melodies, and then break out into heavier, more raw vocals. Her strong and sometimes poppy vocals are accompanied by fuzz-guitar sounds that almost have a garage rock/surf rock feel, and an incessant drum beat that gives energy and groove to even the slowest of her songs.
While there is something undeniably fun about the entire album, if you really pay attention to Lahey’s lyrics, all her songs are slightly dark and have an underlying tone of melancholy. Lahey sings about love, lust and heartbreak, but in a matter-of-fact way that is delightfully genuine. This honest tone comes out especially in her song I Haven’t Been Taking Care of Myself, when she sings “I’ve forgotten what it’s like to be in good health/I gain weight and I drink too much” and “My skins breaking out and I don’t like what I see.” Probably my favorite line of the whole album is in the song Backpack, when Lahey sings, “It’s hard for me to put my arms around you when your backpack’s on.” This line is pure poetry; just the way the words flow together with the melody sounds beautiful, and it paints such a poignant and delicate image of longing to be close to someone. I also appreciate that Lahey strays from the common themes of love and relationships; she has a song called There’s No Money, which made me laugh because I’m always broke and can relate, and she even dedicates an entire song to her relationship with her brother.
Lahey sings about her life with wry humor and honesty, making I Love You Like A Brother a very unpretentious portrayal of what it’s like to be young, to be in and out of different relationships, and to be a human in general. We live in an incredibly messed up world, and it’s refreshing when an artist cuts the bullshit and sings about exactly what they are thinking and feeling instead of trying to build up a picture of a grandiose life.
Listen to I Love You Like A Brother via spotify
Watch video for I Haven’t Been Taking Care Of Myself
Watch the video for Every Day’s The Weekend
Rachel Bennett is a Seattle area photographer and music writer. Follow her on Instagram @rbennettphotography