Hope Alex G Guitar

House of Sugar Album Review

Pennsylvanian songwriter Alex G has released a steady stream of albums since his Bandcamp debut in 2010, showcasing an astonishing range of styles from folk to indie rock, and even noise-rock. But as he’s progressed, his music has become increasingly more cohesive and accessible.

In the past few years, Alex has become an important player in modern indie, earning critical acclaim and gaining a dedicated bedroom following along the way. His star-making 2017 album Rocket firmly established him in the pantheon of the genre, with the cultish singer-songwriter building a formidable fanbase from his subversive lyrics and wavering vocals.

The songs on Rocket mirrored his personal history in a strikingly honest way, with Giannascoli describing the various pitfalls of dependency and letting go and moving forward and navigating cycles of change. Across the album, it’s a collection of surprisingly vulnerable songs that’re hidden behind well-constructed layers of vocal modulation and distortion.

On this year’s House of Sugar, Giannascoli takes his evocatively emotional songs to the next level and adds another layer of complexity. His acoustic guitar and voice blend together to create a sound that’s ethereal, mystical and immersive, while the production is incredibly rich with acoustic strums and echoing strings.

He opens the record with “Hope” a heart-breaking song that pays tribute to a friend who died of opioid abuse, then follows with ‘Gretel’, ‘Southern Sky’ and ‘House of Sugar’, songs that are both hopeful and dark, while the end track ‘Forgive’ is a cathartic plea to let go of things you can no longer control. With his third record for Domino, and his first full-length in over a year, Giannascoli has stepped out of the muddled waters of Bandcamp and into the studio.

The result is a deeply cohesive album that’s a joy to listen to, with the recurring themes of hope and forgiveness and dependence and letting go and moving forward woven into the fabric of the whole album. It’s an album that shows that no matter what you think or how hard it might be, sometimes the best thing is to just let go and take a chance on something new.

‘Hope’ is one of the most haunting tracks he’s written to date, and it’s a powerful start to this absorbing album. It’s a song that’s more than just a tribute to a lost friend; it’s a story about what you can’t control and how if you don’t give up, you’ll find a way to move on.

On ‘House of Sugar’, Alex Giannascoli combines a haunting, ethereal sound with a complex array of motifs to craft a surprisingly cohesive and compelling record that’s also incredibly beautiful. He’s a master of the balancing act between the raw and the subtle, creating songs that are both captivating and deeply emotional.

As a result of his willingness to explore different genres and genres of sound, Alex Giannascoli’s songs have the ability to reach out to anyone, regardless of their personal tastes or preferred musical style. On ‘House of Sugar’, the Philadelphia-based singer-songwriter reflects on the harsh realities of life and finds ways to move forward, despite the adversity that has befallen him.

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