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The Mosh Pit: DSU by Alex G

Brian Clancy, Print Opinions Editor

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On this edition of the Mosh Pit, we’re going to be taking a break from Chicago artists to look at quite an interesting up-and-coming emo musician. Philadelphia artist Alex G creates a unique and dreamy sound with his music, combining distorted and eerie guitar melodies with falsetto vocals. The album DSU supposedly stands for Dream State University, a fitting title for a record that feels like something out of a bizarre fever dream.

The opening song After Ur Gone is a perfect example of the vivid pictures Alex G paints in DSU. The distorted vocals and moody guitar create a bittersweet and slightly eerie atmosphere, only to be joined by the odd falsetto vocals that Alex G features so prominently on the record.

Next up is Serpent is Lord, which takes the tone much darker. It’s a dreary and abyssal melody that comes in sluggish and pounding beats, in sharp contrast to the airy dreaminess of its predecessor.

Alex G only continues to subvert expectations as he radically changes the sound in Harvey. The instrumentation of this song is extremely simple but gives it a trimmed-down, almost childish playfulness to it. The melancholy melody is simultaneously nostalgic and eerie, and Alex’s infamously cryptic lyrics make the theme of the song hard to pin down.

Throughout the rest of the record, Alex G plays with song structure, theme and mood and creates bizarre and surreal tunes that only add to the dreamy sound of the record. Songs like Skipper and Axesteel sound less like songs and more like mysterious interludes bursting full of chirping electronics and odd guitar work. On the other hand, the song Boy could have been ripped from a tape of 80’s ballads, until Alex G plays his own dark subversion on it.

The two bonus tracks at the end are my personal favorites. Soaker is abysmal and angsty, a signature of the emo genre, whereas Waiting for You closes the album with a sleepy jazz swing.

Alex G is a very prolific artist, releasing multiple records per year, but DSU stands out as one of the gems of his collection and acts as a perfect example of what his work is; dark and freaky emo music that creates moods you won’t be shaking off for a while.

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The Mosh Pit: DSU by Alex G