A captivating record from an artist ready to speak his mind
Tom Adams
16:34 20th September 2022

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Alex Giannascoli (better known as Alex G) is set to release his ninth album, his fourth full length under the Domino label, all of which recorded out-of-studio by the 29-year old. Yet, this time, his new album God Save The Animals is a product of recording in studios across his home city of Philadelphia.

Due September 23, Alex lyrically devised each of the album’s thirteen songs on his own at home, leaving only the beautifully-painted album cover to the responsibility of his older sister Rachel, as he often does. By keeping to his typically folktronica, classical-rock aesthetic, Giannascoli incorporates an organic fusion of sound — the products of which feature individual collaborations from his bandmates: guitarist Samuel Acchione, drummer Tom Kelly, and bassist John Heywood, in addition to Alex’s partner, Molly Germer.

A trained classical violinist and composer who has previously toured with pop band Japanese Breakfast, Germer features on Giannascoli’s album on both strings and vocals to help him deliver his most refined and sonically complex sound yet. God Save The Animals (a title inspired by a song lyric that failed to make the album) features a hypnotic tracklist experimenting with pitch and tone: an ambience of a hallucinogenic dystopia, free of social costume, yet still mysteriously comforting.

Whilst the acknowledgement of God appears omnipresent throughout the album, the record is not explicitly religious. The first song, ‘After All’, opens with the line “people come and people go away, yeah but God with me he stayed” which may seem like a statement of appreciation for God, but instead, it appears the record is representative of a generalised sense of belief in humanity rather than of religion directly.

The Philly-based singer-songwriter delves into overriding themes of faith, defining it more as a form of
synergetic social language than religious dogma, and provides his listeners a glimpse into
Alex’s perception of the duality of right and wrong in the album’s second single, ‘Runner’. Here, a
scream in the song’s bridge breaks through the track’s conscientious lyrics. There are moments
where Giannascoli’s experimental sound leaves much to the listener's interpretation. An electronically
jarring instrumental denouement conjoins the seventh track ‘Cross The Sea’ (worthy of a blockbuster
movie soundtrack) with its successor, ‘Blessing’, which seems to perfectly encapsulate the dramatic,
fluctuating waves of synth that brings the album to life.

The album attempts to better understand the varied understanding of faith yet fails to ever find a
definite answer. Instead Giannascoli accepts the significance of humans over anything metaphysical,
not as a means of deeply searching for something within, but instead seeking something more
abstract. From prominent lyrics such as “how many more songs am I supposed to write”, to the
poignant plea of “I have fears I have not addressed”, the album’s penultimate song ‘Miracles’
emphasises concerns of Alex’s own creative output as well as modernity itself. 

God Save The Animals feels like Alex G's most complete work yet, fearlessly experimenting with tonal shifts and leading on powerfully spiritual lyrics, leaving listeners unsure of whether they, too, should be soul-searching after a full listen or two. Across the album’s introspective lyrics, the record feels like an ambiguous anthology of Alex’s thoughts, often dubious of what life has to offer. Yet, with a dog of his own and a history of songs named after animals across his musical discography to date, it feels a lot more reassuring that by the end of the album, Alex G is at least certain of one thing in life: God Save The Animals.

God Save The Animals arrives 23 September via Domino.

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Photo: Press