Sounds Like: Part Runaways and part Carly Rae, this is whimsical, frown-proof rock that cuts off slices of life with a razor-sharp blade.
For Fans of: Best Coast, Tegan and Sara, Lucy Dacus
Why You Should Pay Attention: Australian indie rocker Alex Lahey's punchy early single "You Don't Think You Like People Like Me" was all over radio in her home country, and streaming services soon followed. On 2016's debut EP, B-Grade University, her hook-filled songs (and inventive videos) about liking Wes Anderson movies and college life feel direct and personal, yet still unpredictable. "I'm not going out of my way to relate to anyone," Lahey contends. "I'm just talking about my life."
Earlier this year, she finished her first full-length, I Love You Like a Brother, and spent a month visiting her brother, Will, in New York City. Though he knew the record's name toasts their siblingship, she was nervous to play it for him – especially the ebullient, surf-rock title track. On it, she sings, "People say we look the same but I don't think we do/Maybe it's a consequence of sharing the same womb." "It was a full-circle moment for me to talk to him about that stuff," she says.
Brother tackles heavy stuff like self care, relationship dysfunction and the paralysis of being broke. Levity arrives via self-deprecating humor, shout-along choruses and an impressive sonic range that toys with a different mixture of pop and punk on nearly every song. After opening for Catfish & the Bottlemen, Blondie and Tegan and Sara, Lahey starts a U.S. tour in support of the record in November.
She Says: "I grew up listening to [Tegan and Sara] and learned how to play guitar playing their stuff. Obviously looking up to them as songwriters is one thing, but to travel with them and watch how they operate on the road was another. The way they perform, the way they engage with their fans, the type of gear they use, and the way they shape their band. How conscious they are that their band, their crew and their business at large is a reflection of themselves. There are a lot of people flying the flag of social consciousness, but there are very, very, very, very few people who truly practice what they preach. They're leaving a legacy, and if I'm a part of that I'm stoked.
"There's a phrase: Sometimes it's good to say no. In the context of music videos and photo shoots and presenting myself aesthetically, that's the one time I'm totally down with saying no. People are like, 'We want to do this Vanity Fair-style ball gown shoot,' and I'm going to be like, 'No, fuck off.' Have you seen me? Do you know what I'm about? It's obvious I'm not that kind of person. I'd rather spend my time writing good songs than fucking look better than the next person."
Hear for Yourself: "Every Day's the Weekend" is rollicking, unpolished garage rock. Reed Fischer