Who is Alex G? And why is he all over Frank Ocean’s new visual album ‘Endless’? Both good questions. Alex Giannascoli is a prolific 23-year-old multi-instrumentalist and lo-fi indie guy who’s released several bedroom-produced albums via Bandcamp. When he was in sixth grade (11-12) his parents got an Apple Mac and he started making electronic music on GarageBand. He was also a jazz drummer in high school, and taught himself guitar and piano. He’s also worked with noisy indie lot Cymbals Eat Guitars. And now he’s playing on Frank Ocean’s album.
His fame grew significantly in 2014 after he released his sixth LP, ‘DSU’ – in NME’s 8/10 review of ‘DSU’, we said that Giannascoli “skilfully combines Neil Young’s dusty American songcraft with scratchy lo-fi and wandering electronic influences.” Presumably these are the qualities that brought him to Frank’s attention.
In 2015 he signed to Domino Records. Now a labelmate of Arctic Monkeys and Hot Chip, he’s since released another album, ‘Beach Music’. The skills he brings to Frank Ocean’s new album lie in his lo-fi guitar playing. He first pops up on track 9, ‘Wither’, with a low-key line to supplement Frank’s vocals. It gets a little heavier on ‘Slide On Me’, thanks to some production from French producer Sebastian. Giannascoli’s broadest contribution, though, is on ‘Rushes’, which flits between quiet and clanging. Who knows where he’s headed next…