Alex G announces new album Rocket, shares "Witch" and "Bobby" - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart
Alex G | photo by Tonje Thilesen | courtesy of the artist

Philly phenom and recent Frank Ocean collaboratorAlex G will return this May 19th with Rocket, his latest full-length for UK label Domino Records. In anticipation, he’s shared two new tracks, “Witch” and “Bobby”, which keep his knack for short, evocative titles thoroughly intact. You can stream them both below.

The swirling, dissonant arpeggios that kick off “Witch” have by now become synonymous with Giannascoli’s sound, but the track isn’t without new additions. Harpsichord, strings, and what sounds like upright bass all make an appearance, and they would give the song a baroque pop feel if it wasn’t for the chaotic, psychedelic way they’re utilized. As usual, the lyrics sheet is short and abstract, with descriptions of a “dirty old pig” transitioning into the ominous refrain “No matter what you do/The witch burns you”. This is certainly the more “Alex G” of the two tracks, but it’s also one of the most complicated and experimental things we’ve heard from him so far.

Meanwhile, “Bobby” sees Giannascoli taking on a gentle folk ballad. Where “Witch” feels paranoid, this track is serene thanks to its patient strumming and sleepy background vocals. The addition of fiddle and banjo bring to mind some of Modest Mouse’s rootsier diversions, but its a lot less angry and a whole lot sweeter. By opting for a more traditional song structure (and a few more lyrics), Giannascoli is stepping outside of his comfort zone, and it really pays off. Who knew the most radical thing he could do would be to play it straight?

If you want to see Alex G live, he’ll play a hometown this July 8th at Union Transfer. For tickets and more information, head over to XPN’s Concert Calendar.

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