In Alex Lahey’s native Australia, summer is just around the corner. Brimming with bittersweet yet always shimmering pop gems, her debut album is nicely suited to the season down under which means, rather handily, it’s dropping just in time to serve as something of an aural winter warmer for us poor sods who can’t enjoy Christmas on the beach.
I Love You Like A Brother arrives towards the end of a huge breakout year for the Melbourne artist, that also featured the re-issuing of her debut EP B-Grade University in January after her signing to Dead Oceans. Though thematically dipping in and out of the complexities and anxieties of young life and relationships for a large part, it’s the comfort in relatability and the sharpness with which Lahey approaches her subject that ultimately make it such an invigorating listen. And with more hooks than the cloakroom at a nightclub for pirates, the invigoration is near enough constant.
It ranges from the infectious perpetual motion of opener ‘Every Day’s The Weekend’ and the similarly dance-riot inciting title track that immediately follows, to the introspective yet remarkably upbeat ‘I Haven’t Been Taking Care Of Myself’ and longing ‘I Want U’. Lahey’s knack for fashioning such heart-warming songs out of unlikely topics has been apparent for quite a while, since the original release B-Grade University last year, but she takes it to new highs here. Even when things are at arguably their most despondent on finale ‘There’s No Money’, it’s hard to not remain feeling anything but energised, and in some way better about everything.