Alex G redefines his artistry with new album “God Save the Animals”


Cielito Vivas

Alex Giannascoli released his album “God Save the Animals” after a three-year hiatus of officially released music September 23. Contrary to what fans expected, the album encompasses religious themes, references to God and overall faith in the unknown. Although Giannascoli references God and the Christian faith consistently​​ throughout this album, Giannascoli does not consider himself religious at all. He took inspiration from the religious awakenings of his friends in the past couple of years. His refreshing comeback provided simple storytelling mixed with an Elliott Smith-inspired tone that open-eared fans will in no doubt enjoy to the fullest.

Mia Kirkwood, Reporter

Experimental indie artist Alex G, previously known as (Sandy) Alex G and Alexander Giannascoli, released his latest studio album, “God Save the Animals” September 22. The 29-year-old singer-songwriter started his career in music around the age of 13 after learning to play his brother’s guitar in his spare time. After musical success in his home city of Philadelphia, Giannascoli continued to subtly build his music career and status through playing as opening acts for local music events and collaborating with his friends and sister, R.L Kelly, in temporary music projects. In recent years, Giannascoli’s discography surged in popularity on mainstream mobile apps. Specifically, the songs “Sarah,” “Advice” and “Mary” from the “Trick” album gained massive amounts of attention on the booming music app TikTok. Giannascoli’s artistry continues to present itself in exceedingly creative and inspiring ways within the indie scene and through mainstream apps and services online. As the term “indie” expands, Giannascoli’s music grows with it. 

Giannascoli’s unreleased songs include the majority of his discography. Numerous of these unreleased albums and Extended Play (EP) releases collect themselves all around the internet. For example, Giannascoli presented his 2011 EP “Salt” by selling only 100 cassette tapes of the collective during a tour. Fans of the artist collect these rare tracks by recording and transferring them into MP3 audio files for sharing on sites such as Unreleased Alex G. The difference in studio quality between Giannascoli’s older studio albums and his last two major releases, “House of Sugar” and “We’re All Going to the World’s Fair (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack),” becomes more apparent after Giannascoli decided to boost the overall quality of his music. 

Through references to Monotheistic beliefs of God and references to blessings and miracles, Giannascoli introduces this album’s lyricism on a fascinatingly different note than what his fans expected. While a multitude of fans enjoyed the simplicity and unexpected theme of the album, a handful of supporters did not feel as satisfied with the results of the three-year project.

“I can’t remember how I first found Alex G’s music, but I’ve always appreciated his eclectic instrumentation and the emotion he can evoke with very pared-down lyrics. His latest album was honestly a huge disappointment for me because I felt like the songs were almost all just homogeneous combinations of the same distorted vocals and bland instrumentation. I respect his independence and willingness to experiment as a songwriter, but it just felt soulless. ‘Blessing’ was the only song I actually enjoyed [on the album], and I hope he’ll do more experimentation with that kind of nu-metal mixing and layered synths,” NC alumni Jenny Loveland said.

While this album presents itself as the most refined and well-mixed album of his discography, the lyricism primarily focuses on the faith and self-growth of his peers in recent years. Giannascoli recently expressed in multiple album release interviews that religion did not become the central concept until he noticed a recurring theme of God within his lyrics. 

“A few people that I’m close to became [sic] religious. It made me wonder what they found. I love exploring those concepts lyrically because I don’t have to have any answers. I can just paint an abstract picture and see what happens. I’m not great at talking about this stuff in a way that I would feel comfortable having a ton of people read. I didn’t know [what faith meant] at the beginning of this writing process and I still don’t really know. Over the last couple of years, it dawned on me that you can forgive yourself… I realized how powerful that is,” Giannascoli said.

Giannascoli focuses on persistency of hope and accepting uncertainty within trialing times in the songs “Mission” and “Ain’t It Easy.” “God Save the Animals” touches on the probable aftermath of hardship by opening a door of endurance and faithful ambition instead of sorrow and doubt. As a multitude of artists in the indie genre continue to concentrate their lyricality on lack of aspiration, Giannascoli created a breath of fresh air for the religious, non-religious and even those with faith in nothing in particular

“His new album is a lot different than older stuff but I’m glad he’s expanding into different types of music and there are some really good songs on the album. I disagree with most people’s opinions about it being bad because I think Alex is just trying to get into a new era of music and experiment with newer sounds. My favorites on the album are ‘Runner’, ‘After All’ and ‘Ain’t It Easy.’ I think ‘After All’ is one of my favorites because of how similar it sounds to his older stuff and it would sound good in concert. I like ‘Runner’ and ‘Ain’t It Easy’ because of how unique and out of style they sound to Alex’s older songs,” sophomore Camryn Zwang said.


The Chant’s Rating: B