Alex Lahey brings the goods on her catchy debut album, I Love You Like A Brother.Dead Oceans, 2017
8.0 / 10
Female guitar rocker from Australia. Immediately, you’re probably thinking of Courtney Barnett. However, you should now be familiar with Alex Lahey. Dead Oceans reissued her debut EP B-Grade University at the start of the summer. And now, she’s following it up with her debut full-length, which answers the question whether or not she can write a catchier song than her B-Grade single, “You Don’t Think You Like People Like Me”. Turns out that she can. 10 songs in fact. It’s almost as if Lahey can’t write a song that sticks with you. She knows the value of some well placed ‘whoas’ and ‘ohs’. They serve as the glue. But her lyrics are highly relatable; dealing with family, relationships, and angst.
I Love You Like A Brother captures all of Lahey’s likable qualities. Her blunt honesty shines in these songs but never works in a way to make her seem like she’s just complaining or Taylor Swifting. She’s just getting stuff off her chest and sounds incredibly down to earth at the same time. Think you could hang out with Taylor Swift and carry on a natural conversation? Hell no! With Alex Lahey, such a premise seems plausible. Again, this comes down to how relatable her songs are.
On “Perth Traumatic Stress”, she details how she suffered a terrible heartbreak in Perth and how returning to the city always sparks the bad feelings. Still, the city is just too damn beautiful to stay mad at. “Perth is lucky that she’s pretty/ Otherwise I’d hate this city,” she sings. “I Haven’t Been Taking Care of Myself” examines how a bad relationship can affect you mentally. Every insecurity you have begins to sneak in. Lahey blasts all of her songs with fuzzy guitar rock except for the album’s stirring closing track, “There’s No Money”. In this performance, Lahey shows her range as a singer over a poignant melody. Once again, she draws us in close, but she does it without any ‘whoas’ or ‘ohs.’ And it still remains with us, much like this album.