Alex Lahey is one of the handfuls of solo-female rockers to come out of Australia in recent years, and it’s hard to believe she’s only been killing it on the airwaves for a little over four years. Armed with undeniable talent, obvious skill and a relentless commitment to perfecting her craft, Lahey has been riding the rollercoaster of success since announcing herself to the world (and our playlists) in 2016 with her debut EP ‘B-Grade University’ which catapulted the Melbourne singer-songwriter into popularity with fans and critics alike.
She re-emerged in 2017 with her debut full-length album, I Love You Like A Brother, which managed to distill universal experiences into wry, punchy indie-rock songs, and a collection of three-minute odes to millennial angst and all the complicated feelings that come with it.
Now, the alternative-pop powerhouse has returned with her sophomore LP, The Best Of Luck Club, brimming with those gnashing garage rock sounds, honest lyrics and infectious hooks that we’ve come to know and love, and she’ll be bringing it all to Geelong’s most iconic venue Little Creatures Brewery’s next month for the inaugural Born In Geelong Festival.
A celebration of the region – the birthplace of its popular Furphy ale – Little Creatures will transform its extensive site into a premium music venue with two stages, hosting a mix of local and national talent alongside Lahey, including headliners Ball Park Music, Allday, British India, Didirri, Ro, Planet and Alice Ivy.
“Super excited about it,” Lahey beams about snagging a spot on the inaugural festival bill. “It’s always such a blast playing Geelong and when I got told about the festival, it was an absolute no-brainer. Being a Melbourne girl and my drummer Jess being from Ocean Grove, it has the same excitement as a hometown show for us.”
With the release of her sophomore album (and easy contender for 2019’s Album Of The Year) back in May (which continued to demonstrate Lahey’s knack for infectiously catchy hooks and candid, forthright lyricism), it’s apparent most of Lahey’s success can be attributed to her relatable music, navigating the highest highs and the lowest lows, and once again giving a voice to millennial ennui.
“I tried my best to not overthink while I was writing each individual song on the record and to just have fun being in the moment when I was lucky enough to find time to write,” she explains.
“A really big part of pulling all the songs together was spending a couple of weeks in Nashville before I went into the studio to write as much as I could while consolidating the album. It would’ve been a very different album without that experience and I’m really glad it happened.”
Consisting of 10 songs, the album takes you on a rollercoaster of youth emotions, exploring new feelings and experiences, and keeping you constantly captivated with each song. While self-doubt prompted ‘Am I Doing It Right?’ and raw grunge-rocker ‘Misery Guts’ reacts to a painful breakup, a particular tug at the heartstrings is in ‘I Don’t Get Invited To Parties Anymore’, which sees Lahey reflect the consequences of being in the music industry and all it requires of her.
Marking a new level of maturity for the Melbourne songwriter, the album shines a light on Lahey’s musical diversity through the addition of keys, saxophones and interesting vocal treatments, which Lahey is keen to translate live on stage next month.
“I want the show to be as diverse as possible and allow the band and I to have fun and feel free on stage,” she explains. “I feel that when you go in with that attitude, it’s quite easy to achieve that vision. Just not overthinking and letting the songs be themselves is something we try to do.”
No stranger to the touring circuit, Lahey’s played every local festival imaginable, sold-out national runs of shows and has even taken her music internationally, and Geelong has managed to keep coaxing her back. From supporting The Jezabels, and celebrating the release of I Love You Like A Brother, and performing at a number of our regional favourites including The Barwon Club, The Wool Exchange, The Workers Club and the Karova Lounge down the highway, Lahey’s live performances continue to evolve, leaving no doubt about her being one of this country’s most consistent performers.
“Since the start of this project becoming a live show, I feel like I’ve become a better guitar player and performer in that time,” she shares. “But I’ve also become really sure of what I want the show to be, which is fun, inclusive, high energy and about playing as a band.
“Geelong has always been so supportive of my music from the very start and I hold the town very close to my heart for that reason,” Lahey continues. “We’ll keep coming back for as long as you keep coming out!”
And you can bet the whole town will come out for this massive 10-hour program, set to attract over 4,000 people with an alt-pop vibe, utilising all areas and laneways of the brewery as the festival pays tribute to Furphy (which Lahey admits is “legitimately my beer of choice”), while jointly celebrating the best of the local community and culture.
Alongside the music, the festival will also showcase some of Geelong’s best food, drink, lifestyle and other entertainment, including a pop-up by the popular The Hot Chicken Project, the Nashville-style brainchild of award-winning chef Aaron Turner, while The Resident Barber will be serving up fresh cuts to punters across the day.
As part of the festival, Little Creatures are also partnering with KROCK to present the KROCK B.I.G Sessions Stage. In the lead up to the event, the hunt is one for the next best band to take on Geelong, with the winning act performing on the KROCK B.I.G Sessions stage alongside some of Geelong’s best live acts.
The B.I.G Festival will also be cashless event committed to reducing waste and will partner with Bettercup, a reusable cup company that specifically aims to combat single-use waste from events and venues.
Don’t miss your chance to indulge in a little perspective when Lahey hits the BIG Festival stage with her infectious anthems and bursting guitars next month.
The B.I.G Festival will be held on October 26 from 12pm – 10pm. Tickets and latest information available via www.bigfestival.com.au.