Australian newcomer Alex Lahey’s debut album ‘I Love You Like A Brother’ is out next month, and it’s seriously fucking fun. So we had a sit down to chat about the record, being mentored by Tegan and Sara and why she flogged her ‘99 Toyota Corolla.
So you’ve named your album after song you wrote about your brother, haven’t you?
Yes, so my brother is two years younger than me. We’ve had a classic relationship of being really close when we were little, and then becoming adverse to each other as teenagers for various reasons that don’t just stem from our personalities. He hasn’t heard the song, he knows the records called that and he’s cool with that and he knows there is a song about him on it. I don’t know how to show it to him, but I wanna be with him when he hears it.
You used to work in a group, why did you decide to release this on your own?
I think I decided a while before I actually did anything about it. I was too scared to say I’m gonna give this a go on my own for a while – I never thought I was capable of it. That’s the thing when you work so collaboratively for so long, it’s like ‘how could I possibly do it without the help of others’? I think especially like as a woman as well, sometimes it’s hard to find those role models and people who are like, ‘you can do it’.
It’s a very honest album. Did you ever surprise yourself with some of the lyrics?
Sort of. I think especially the one thing that comes to mind is a line in ‘There’s No Money’ which talks about ‘we can’t marry even if we want to’ and that’s a thing about gay marriage in Australia. For me talking about that side of my life, wasn’t really something I was like ‘I’m gonna write a song abut it’ – it just felt like something that I had to say in that song. But my sexuality has never been a big deal in my life, not to my family, not to me, it has nothing to do with the way that I live my life, other than who I fall in love with.
So it’s never really been something I’ve felt I have to address in a song or had to unpack. I think everyone’s experience of their sexuality should be that way, so when I wrote that line I sort of surprised myself.
How did you end up going on tour with Tegan & Sara?
I played Splendour In The Grass and I somehow swindled our way into their dressing room after their set. We started talking a bit deeper about what I do and there were certain questions I had as an artist and as a person that I wanted answered, things I didn’t feel like I could talk to other people about. They were super honest and open about everything.
I noticed on your Twitter, in your bio it said you’re a proud former Toyota Corolla owner…
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I sold it to pay for my first EP. It’s like immortalised in the record, and I dunno it’s probably fucking dead now, it had a fucked fan belt. Some poor guy ordered this piece of shit car and is riding off into the horizon.
I Love You Like A Brother is out October 6 on Dead Oceans
Catch Lahey live:
Boston Music Rooms, London (November 8)