Alex Lahey

Indie pop from Melbourne, Australia

Alex Lahey

Lubec, Mini Blinds

Tue, May 29

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

Doug Fir Lounge

Portland, OR

$13.00 - $15.00

This event is 21 and over

Alex Lahey
Alex Lahey
“I’m just some random from Melbourne.”

Alex Lahey likes to keep it real. The 24-year-old Australian musician takes her rise up the ranks from music student to ‘an artist with one of the most highly anticipated debut albums of 2017’ in her stride.

Lahey sees her life as ordinary: “I fall in love, I have a family, I go out with my friends, I like to have a drink.” However, most people can’t distill those universal experiences into wry, punchy indie-rock songs – three minute odes to millennial angst and all the complicated feelings that come with it. Alex Lahey can. Love You Like A Brother is proof.

Born and raised in Melbourne, Lahey initially studied jazz saxophone at university but unimpressed with “learning music in such a regimented way” she switched to an arts degree (see her “B-Grade University” EP for more details). Her tenure with cult music collective Animaux allowed Lahey the musical anarchy she yearned – hell, she booked the band their first gig before they’d even prepared a single song.

Lahey stepped out on her own once she began to write songs that didn’t fit Animaux’s party space. Songs that were inspired by the two people she considers the greatest songwriters of all time, Dolly Parton and Bruce Springsteen. Songs that got her noticed at a local industry conference and scored her a solo management deal. Lahey had graduated.

The Love You Like A Brother album drops fresh off the back of Lahey’s breakthrough in 2016. Last year her “You Don’t Think You Like People Like Me” single was inescapable and landed her a spot in Australian radio network triple j’s prestigious Hottest 100 of 2016. The song’s universal tale of rejection took Lahey global – its message, she says, is the flipside of the usual break-up scenario: “Yeah, you’re right. It’s not me. It IS you.”

And that no-shit-taken attitude is the backbone of I Love You Like A Brother. From the stomping title track to the gently moving “Money”, Lahey’s debut long-player tells it like it is.

The album found Lahey back in the studio with production partner, and one-half of Holy Holy, Oscar Dawson (Ali Barter, British India). The pair pushed each other to create an intimate sonic experience that comprises scuzzy guitars thrumming over pop melodies, helmed by Lahey’s unfussy but arresting vocals.

The album’s songs traverse the everyday themes of family, heartbreak and identity. Lahey tells her stories with character… and dry humour – “I’ve figured it out,” she sings in “Awkward Exchange”, “you’re a bit of a dick” – but there are also moments of darkness. In “Taking Care” she muses, “I’ve gained weight and I drink too much, maybe that’s why you don’t love me as much.”

“Taking Care” was written after Alex had an eye-opening conversation with her mother. “I was seeing someone who I knew wasn’t treating me well, and chose to ignore it, and I think my mum had picked up on it as well. She just said to me at the end of the conversation, ‘Alexandra, whatever you do, just make sure that you take care of yourself’.”

The poignant “Backpack” is a tribute to Lahey’s latest relationship, and the unsure start it got off to. “When we first started going out, they warned me about how they’re really flighty, and I was like, ‘I just want you to stay. And I don’t know if you are.’ It’s just saying it’s hard to hold someone down if they’re always thinking about the next place that they’re going to. It’s hard to give someone a hug when they’re walking away. And sometimes it’s good to chase them down and be like, ‘Hey, I’m here.’”

And, in case the album’s title hadn’t given it away already, there’s a track for her brother too. “We don’t get a choice/So let’s stick together,” screams Lahey in ‘Brother’. That angsty love you’re hearing is easily explained by Lahey, “My brother and I clashed for a long time, and then all of a sudden as adults, we’re really close. I feel like this song is my gift to him.”

The themes of Alex Lahey’s album might be universal, but it’s the unique approach she takes unpacking them that’s earned her millions of Spotify streams, buzz-worthy showcases at SXSW and festival sets alongside the likes of Flume, The Kills, At The Drive-In and James Blake as well as guesting on tours with Catfish & The Bottlemen, Tegan & Sara and Blondie.
Lubec
Lubec
“Known in area DIY rock scenes for their fuzzy piano-driven dream pop, duel harmonies and shows, Portland, Oregon trio Lubec have released two albums. Cosmic Debt - their most recent full-length - came out on Boston's Disposable America label. It follows The Thrall, their 2014 debut and several singles. The Dividends EP was released in winter of 2017 and collected other songs from the sets of this period.”

"(Cosmic Debt) is a shaded, scratchy gem of a guitar-pop record. Sometimes drifting in to that endearing lo-fi world but with a vision that lifts it out much higher than that and out in to the great wide world, with ease. Highly recommended." - Gold Flake Paint

"Lubec isn’t a straight dream pop band. There is a harder indie rock core running through their sound and the way the songs are structured that counterpoints their gaze-like vibes. The way they trade lines and sing two competing trains of thought together reminds one of nearby Seattle’s Pretty Girls Make Graves." - Post-Trash
"Cosmic Debt" is calamitous but beautiful, a hodgepodge of briskly paced instrumentals and shouts. It serves as the perfect soundtrack for a set of rapidly moving visuals, warping you into a place of whirlwind noise pop. - The Grey Estates
“We’ve been pushing Lubec since the first songs were unleashed, and we’re not ashamed of it. The sound was part Sonic Youth, part Scandinavian wall-of-chorus, making for a mind bending ride with a unique take on the sound. On Cosmic Debt, every track we’ve heard thus far seems a fulfillment of their early promise.” - DKFM
"They are among the city's elite loud-pop heavyweights." - The Portland Mercury
Mini Blinds
Mini Blinds
Formed in a basement during the ashy haze of summer wild fires Mini Blinds creates dreamy pop songs akin to a 8mm Kodachrome home movie . Using vintage guitars and amplifiers Beth Ann Dear and Devin Welch create timeless pop tunes influenced by every decade and genre. With a sweet nonchalant tone Dear sings of heart break, the monotony of daily routine, nostalgic memories and fragmented dreams. Fall of 2016 saw the release of their debut album Air Signs on See My Friends Records. Their up coming EP "Dust" will be out August 2018 on Zero Wave Records.