Philadelphia indie rocker (Sandy) Alex G closes a prolific decade with the stunning House of Sugar | Music Review | Chicago Reader

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Philadelphia indie rocker (Sandy) Alex G closes a prolific decade with the stunning House of Sugar


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Philadelphia indie-rock alchemist Alexander Giannascoli understands better than most musicians who’ve emerged in the past decade how to convey the slipperiness and complexity of emotion in song. The 27-year-old kicked off his career in the early 2010s with a streak of albums he self-released or put out through small cassette labels, and they all wound up on the Bandcamp page he ran as Alex G. By the time he added “(Sandy)” to his stage name in 2017, his blossoming cult status had gotten a major boost from his contributions to Frank Ocean’s two 2016 albums, Endless and Blonde. Giannascoli’s second album for big-time indie Domino, Rocket, brought him to his own crossover moment that same year. On his follow-up, September’s House of Sugar, he’s refined his experimental, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach to indie rock without losing the emotional ambiguity that makes his music magnetic. The radically processed vocals on “Gretel” give way to a Lynchian melody, hinting at the odd range of feelings that anyone going through major life changes faces, regardless of age. Giannascoli’s calming vocals on the chorus act as a balm against dark moods, and he performs with a resilience that suggests moving forward won’t be as bad as we fear.   v

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