Review by Sara Wallace
My dear them’s and they’s, the time has finally come. The release of (Sandy) Alex G’s newest album, House of Sugar, is here in all its glory and a gal has not been happier. After a summer of taunting us with the beautiful singles of “Gretel,” “Southern Sky” and “Hope” there was great anticipation for this album.
I had listened the raw hell out of the single “Gretel,” to the point I could hear that song in my dreams and then I’d wake up and listen to it on repeat again. This song is the perfect representation of the theme of this album, and of (Sandy) Alex G as an artist.
The absolute emassing of sound that “Gretel” pulls from you is at first confusing, then it makes sense, then it gets a little confusing again. The emotions I feel when I listen to “Gretel” and it hits that folk peak in the middle of this song, is an Oprah “Ah-ha” moment. The strange beginning and ending you realize has been his chorus you’ve known the entire time. This song, like the album, takes multiple listens to get it. But once you get there, it’s pure pleasure.
This pattern is translated into this entire album. He has folky hits like “In My Arms,” “Cow” and my current favorite, “Southern Sky.” This folk mix is some of what can be claimed as what made ASG famous, with his past hits like “Bobby” and “Powerful Man.”
But this album he has hit that perfect balance between his folk and experimental sounds. It’s not even fair to others the way he writes and creates music. You can listen to this album over and over and still hear things you didn’t catch the first listen. As a friend said, “(Its) Chalked full of sound.”
I think this album has two parts to itself. The first being the powerhouses of singles we’ve been eating up all summer. But unlike other artists, I had a strong gut feeling that these singles weren’t going to be all he had to offer. I knew there’d be new juicy stuff. And I wasn’t wrong.
Songs like “Cow,” and “Bad Man,” gave me that fulfillment of the good new content for me to abuse. But boy does he make you work and get through the soundscape monster that is “Project 2” to reach those gems.
This album is proof that the (Sandy) Alex G we’ve loved for so long is not letting off the gas and continues to produce beautiful emassing music. That’s all a person could ever hope for in an artist they love.