There are many reasons why we love and adore Alex Lahey, from her brilliant songwriting and catchy-ass tunes to her down-to-Earth, approachable personality. But another reason that jumps out this week is that she makes her music feel like an event; her songs take us back to a time when our love for music was pure, when we listened to songs on repeat over and over, dissected the lyrics and felt something with each hook, with each line. That was feeling was revisited yesterday, when we stopped what we were doing to listen to the premiere of her new song, “Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself”, debuting live on Australia’s Triple J radio.
We can’t remember the last time we tuned into something in order to hear a song first with the rest of an engaged listener group.
Of course, we weren’t disappointed, as “Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself” is a spunky guitar-pop anthem that comes complete with a goddamned saxophone solo performed by Lahey herself. (Note: Add sax playing to that aforementioned Lahey love-list.) The track feels like a natural progression from 2017’s breakout I Love You Like A Brother LP, and that’s an exciting accomplishment as that records holds up as one of our very favorites of the past decade. Lahey’s knack for melody and whipsmart lyricism remains intact, and that bodes well for what’s in store later in 2019.
“Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself” is the first taste of Lahey’s forthcoming sophomore album The Best Of Luck Club, landing May 17 via Dead Oceans, and Lahey plays every instrument on it. (Note II: Add that to the aforementioned list, too.)
“In Nashville I was really inspired by the dive bar scene there and the idea that at these dive bars there’s no pretentious energy,” Lahey says about The Best Of Luck Club. “Whether you’ve had the best day of your life or the worst day of your life, you can just sit up at the bar and turn to the person next to you — who has no idea who you are — and have a chat. And the response that you generally get at the end of the conversation is, ‘Best of luck’, so The Best Of Luck Club is that place.”