Photo Via Pitchfork.com

4/5 stars

“God Save the Animals” is the newest studio album released by Philadelphia indie musician Alex G on Sept. 23.  It was met with warm reception from critics as it marks the next step for the artist. 

Alex G, whose given name is Alexander Giannascoli, He got his initial start in music by releasing various EPs during the early 2010s and was later signed on by various record labels such as Orchid Tapes and Domino. His previous album “House of Sugar” was released in Sept. 2019 under his stage name “Sandy.” Earlier this year in April, Alex G released the soundtrack he composed for the film “We’re All Going to the World’s Fair,” a coming-of-age horror drama directed by Jane Schoenbrun. 

Alex G teased the release of his new album with the single “Blessing” on May 23. “God Save the Animals” was officially announced one month later on June 21 alongside the release of another single “Runner.” This track was performed on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. 

“God Save the Animals” and its 13 tracks can be described as a mix of indie rock and indie folk, with a mix of lo-fi pop and neo-psychedelia. The opening track “After All” starts off the listener with an easy and melodic melody and a heavy chorus with an unorthodox vocal effect. The opening track helps ease the listener into the vibe and environment the album sets up.

What follows is the stand-out track “Runner,” which incorporates a simple melody with inspirations from indie, rock and folk music tied together to create a gorgeous instrumental. The writing also stands out, incorporating themes of exclusion and addiction that the narrator goes through into very simple lyrics. Biblical themes and euphemisms for faith are also present throughout the album.

“Mission” is a follow-up to the previous track which features a beautifully composed intro and outro. “S.D.O.S.” has a heavier psychedelic feel and is more experimental in its vocal effects. “No Bitterness” is a melancholic lo-fi indie track with some distorted autotune. “Ain’t it Easy” and “Cross the Seas” play it more basic with simple and laid-back instrumentals and vocals, although the latter track ends with more electronic production. 

This immediately follows into “Blessing” with its production being a mix of whispering vocals and electronic instrumentation with drums, making this track ethereal and atmospheric throughout. The instrumental of “Early Morning Waiting” and “Immunity” bring it back down to more breezy melodies, with themes of introspection throughout the lyrics.

“Headroom Piano” is rather interesting. The simple indie-folk melody combined with distorted vocals creates a rather odd juxtaposition. “Miracles” is a rather personal ballad that is less melancholic and more upbeat in tone with its lyrics about the future relationship of two close individuals. The closing track “Forgive” continues this upbeat folk melody.

Alex G’s newest full-length album flows together rather well. The lyrics are well written and sincere, yet simple and never step over the line to become corny. The production is stellar, and while not every track is perfect, it feels sonically consistent and dynamic.“God Save the Animals” is a well-put-together indie folk album that will satisfy long-time fans and intrigue new listeners.