WATCH: Alex Lahey – ‘They Wouldn’t Let Me In’

Following the release of lead single ‘Good Time’, the infectious ‘They Wouldn’t Let Me In’ is the latest single from Australian artist Alex Lahey‘s upcoming third album and debut for Liberation, The Answer Is Always Yes; a reflective post-punk track inspired by the isolation she experienced during her teenage years. “I spent a lot of time thinking about my own experiences growing up as a queer teenager…being excluded from conventional romantic rites of passage…feeling like I couldn’t relate to anyone around me.”

Finding inspiration after watching the coming-of-age TV romantic comedy-drama ‘Heartstopper’ (adapted from the webcomic of the same name by Alice Oseman), Alex put into words those tough moments many queer teens experience as they try to adapt to a seemingly non-inclusive world: “I couldn’t get into the bar or the church / Or the backseat of your mother’s car / The club or the bus or the band where no one plays guitar / The dance at your school / Or the change rooms at the swimming pool / The haunted house down the street / That all those people died in…”

Venturing into a furniture store for the accompanying music video – co-directed with Claire Giuffre – Alex Lahey furnishes us (literally!) with a multitude of emotions. Through self-discovery, co-writing alongside Chris Collins, she revels in the absurdity through propulsive rhythm and cathartic honesty; finding comfort in discomfort.

“Living in a world that wasn’t made for you makes you pretty strong and adaptive… It also makes you realise how absurd everything is. With this record, I wanted to get weird because the world is weird, and it’s even weirder when you realise you don’t fit into it all the time.”

“They wouldn’t let me in / C’mon just let me in / Why don’t you just fucking let me in?”

The Answer Is Always Yes, the upcoming album from Alex Lahey, is set for release on 19th May via Liberation.

Ken Wynne

Photo Credit: Pooneh Ghana

Track Of The Day: Alex Lahey – ‘Congratulations’

Congratulations’, the latest single from Australian artist Alex Lahey is an irresistible slice of grunge-fuelled indie rock about your exes moving on and settling down with someone else. With its swaggering guitars and soaring vocals, it’s an anthemic, fist-pumping three-minutes, building from bittersweet to completely bad-ass.

Lahey’s songwriting and musicality really shine here. Reminiscent of Pixies and the incredible Du Blonde, this is lo-fi guitar rock delivered with such power, polish and energy that Lahey could have the power of a whole band behind her. I’m talking proper stadium rock vibes, and it begs to be played loud!

Emerging from the vibrant Melbourne scene that also gave us Courtney Barnett, ‘Congratulations’ shows Lahey is a force to be reckoned with. Her last new music in 2021, ‘On My Way’, made it to the soundtrack of Netflix’s The Mitchells Vs The Machines (NB. parents and carers to small people will have watched this at least a dozen times…) and with more new music to come from her this year, Lahey’s potential seems limitless.

‘Congratulations’ is out now via Liberation Records.

Vic Conway

Photo Credit: Pooneh Ghana

Five Favourites: Sir Jude

Having had previous singles featured in popular TV shows such as ‘Catfish’ and ‘The A List’, Australian artist Sir Jude has now announced the release of her upcoming debut album, Revelations, and shared a sweeping new single with the world. Propelled by a stirring, glitchy energy ‘Madonna‘ reflects on the dichotomy of the Madonna concept – the virgin and the whore. As her rich vocals soar over a gritty electro-infused soundscape, an instantly catchy cinematic alt-pop anthem is created.

We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspires them. So, to celebrate the release of ‘Madonna’ and the upcoming debut album, we caught up with Sir Jude to ask about the music that has inspired her the most. See below for her choices of her five favourite songs.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers – ‘Wet Sand’ 
Growing up, I was such a big Chili Peppers fan. Still am of course. It was the soundtrack to many defining moments, particularly my first love. My journey to discovering them as a band was led by pure intrigue – none of my friends listened to them and I was mesmerised by the sound of psychedelic rock. The lyric in this track – “you don’t form in the wet sand” – I thought was so delicate and beautiful. Despite it feeling like a song about lightness, there is this sense of tragedy and vulnerability. I think Anthony Kiedis mastered that; most of their songs have this wonderful element of dichotomy. Later I watched an interview of Flea talking about how the song for him is a special love song, about the darkness of love, and I deeply resonate with that.  

Imogen Heap – ‘Hide and Seek’
This song was a staple for my teen years! I had first heard this on my favourite show at the time – which I’m admitting was The OC. I think for most people, it was unlike anything else they’d heard before. For me, I wanted to know more. I think Imogen Heap is one of the most talented composers and is an absolute force for women in music. I’m so grateful to her for being so authentic and bold in everything she does. This song inspired a whole era of songs I set to write at 13 or 14 (most of which were terrible). But one song it inspired, titled ‘Sailor Ships’, was the very song that brought me to Abbey Road Studios in London, with my friend and collaborator Bryce Jacobs, and that moment was so special.  

Arctic Monkeys – ‘I Wanna Be Yours’ 
This song gets most of its lyrics from the John Cooper Clark poem of the same name. I first heard this and gasped. I’m not the most romantic person, but for the first time I felt like these words were ones I could understand. It’s honestly a little creepy when you read it aloud, but I think at the heart of the song it’s about loving someone so deep that you want to know and be with every single part of them, and that’s pretty beautiful. I feel like such a sap admitting that, but it’s just lovely.  

Kavinsky ft. Lovefoxxx – ‘Nightcall’
I had heard this song before seeing it in Drive. The movie and the scorpion jacket only added to the iconic etch it made in my mind. The way the album, Out Run, opens is so epic; it paints this glorious mental movie soundtrack that is otherworldly and genius and just so cool. It’s the best nighttime driving song there is. Again, there is this sense of love and tragedy that I resonated with because the concept of the album itself felt so tangible.  

The Naked and Famous – ‘The Sun’
I lean very heavily towards songs that make me feel as though I can cut a quick movie montage of my life in my head. Every time this song plays, I feel so empowered and capable – like something is about to happen. It’s dramatic and aggressive and the lyrics bring about a feeling of frustration, like this person is about to explode; like they’re finally at a turning point. The line “and what the hell have I done” inspired my own song – ‘What the Hell Have You Done’. I just remember feeling so heard in that line. It does something to me every time I hear it. And the whole album is a classic; I think there are a lot of people that can listen to a song from that album and have it take them back somewhere years ago.  

Massive thanks to Sir Jude for sharing her Five Favourites with us!

‘Madonna’ is out now, and Revelations, the upcoming debut album from Sir Jude, is set for release soon!

Track Of The Day: Ruby Gill – ‘Public Panic Attacks’

If ever a song spoke directly to me, then it is ‘Public Panic Attacks’ – the resonant new single from Ruby Gill, a South African born, Melbourne-based musician and writer (and bird-watcher!). Its matter-of-fact and humorous lyricism follows a string of acclaimed releases since 2018, including the emotive folk-strewn splendour of ‘Your Mum’ and ‘you should do this for a living’.

The song starts off softly with delicate picked guitar as Ruby sings “Give me a second to breathe… heave my heavy heart….”, before leading us into the oncoming panic attack in a parking lot. The music speeds up with beautifully strummed dream-pop hooks, and a gently tapping rhythm as she tries to work out the cause – “is it the party or is it love…?” – as the backing vocals echo, creating a spellbinding atmosphere and build-up of tension throughout.

The bridge has the poignant lyric “am I scared of coming home, or is it the fear of being alone?”, before the gorgeous guitar solo glides seamlessly towards the abrupt conclusion “It has to..Stop!”

Certain to invoke rousing sing-a-longs, this anxiety anthem is as charismatic and infectious as they come. We all exhale with Ruby as the track draws to a close, transporting us to a happier place. Panic attacks have never felt so good.

Fi Ni Aicead

Photo Credit: Al Parkinson