(Sandy) Alex G and music in the age of coronavirus

Haley Soares, Arcade Editor

Amidst the ongoing public health crisis, musicians around the world are forced to cancel tours and stay indoors, just like the rest of us. This new normal has prompted many artists to become inventive and seek new ways to connect with fans. Charli XCX, for one, has taken an interactive approach to recording a new album during quarantine, involving fans in every step along the way. Others have been putting on full shows over social media platforms, and I was lucky enough to tune into the (Sandy) Alex G Instagram live show this past Friday. 

Czars Trinidad | Layout Editor

Alex Giannascoli, better known as beloved indie musician (Sandy) Alex G, has been releasing music steadily for over a decade. His eighth full-length album, “House of Sugar” was released in the fall of 2019 and hit No. 5 on Billboard Heatseekers, gaining the love of older fans and ushering in a new wave of Alex G fans.

Through the years, Alex G has amassed a substantial and loyal fanbase, who are now seeking ways to support the artist after the inevitable postponement of his U.S. tour, which was set to continue through August. 

This past Friday, April 10, Alex G hosted a live show on Instagram, encouraging donations to the Oxfam COVID-19 relief fund. Thousands of eager fans tuned in for the live stream, thrilled to interact with the artist on a new platform. While a show broadcast online certainly does not rival seeing your favorite artist on stage, the experience was uniquely up close and personal. Perched upon a couch, with a dog by his side, it felt as though you were sitting there alongside him.

The set played to the interests of the fans, who were requesting their favorites in the comments, and resulted in a dynamic and expansive performance that spanned across his discography. At several points he also called in girlfriend Molly Germer, professional violinist and artist featuring on his albums, to assist him with songs such as “Bobby” and “Southern Sky.”

Aside from Germer’s help on violin, Alex G has spent most of his career personally playing every instrument on his songs and assembling them on Garageband, cultivating a uniquely personal sound. His first professionally mixed album was released in 2014, titled “Beach Music,” but has still maintained a down-to-earth presence in his music.

I grinned ear-to-ear during the entire performance, exhilarated by the closeness I felt not only to the artist but also to the thousands of fans who were united in one precious hour of pure joy together, despite being miles apart. While I am sure that (Sandy) Alex G is not the first, and certainly not the last, to conduct this kind of “concert” — this experience serves as a reminder of the uniting force of music and the power it has to bring hope to us in such tumultuous times.

If you are interested in watching the Instagram live set of (Sandy) Alex G, you can watch it in its entirety here.