The Best Under-The-Radar Musician That You Should Listen To This Summer
Finding new music is hard. You only really realise you’ve run out of new things to listen to once you start commuting and, by then, you’re far too attached to your old playlist to stick the radio on. That means that the only way you can ever find new music is by sitting in a crowded waiting room where they have the radio on or in your friend’s car. And in both of those scenarios you have far too much pride to get Shazam out.
This hit me particularly hard one day and so I threw in the towel with music. Podcasts were the way forward and I thought I’d get into Jake and Amir’s show – their web-series was great so it was a sensible progression for me. They had a thing where listeners would send in their own theme song submissions and while most of them were fairly hit and miss, one was a pretty huge tune. This was it…
Great, isn’t it? His name’s Alex McGuire and after Jake and Amir gave him a shout out, I ventured to his SoundCloud straight away – it’s all great.
It’s hard to explain exactly what kind of genre we’re talking here but Alex seems to sum it up perfectly in his little bio, with “Singing and guitars and a good attitude“. It’s all just really good vibes. Even when the vibes shouldn’t be good, like when he’s singing about being perpetually drunk and trying to get back with his ex (I think?), he goes and makes the perfect summer melody. Have a listen/watch (try to make it both, it’s a great video directed by the up-and-coming Max Moore, starring Neil Phelps as a very sexy merman)…
Upon further investigation, I found that Alex had an EP on Apple Music called The Sun from Both Sides which consisted of five excellent, breezy songs. Obviously I downloaded it, did the thing I always do and played it over and over and now I’m looking for some more McGuire magic. Luckily I got in touch with him and he’s releasing an EP called Anxious Acid next month so that’s not too long to wait.
Along with all of that lovely news, I decided to conduct a little interview. Here’s the transcript:
Alex: Hello. Wait, what time is it for you?
Alex: Past my bedtime
Alfie: Mine too. So, The Sun From Both Sides was fantastic – is there an overarching theme or is it just a collection of songs?
Alex: I recorded SFBS in my college bedroom at the University of Miami during the last couple months of my senior year.
Literally in a walk in closet using GarageBand and a “cajón” I borrowed (read: stole) from my friend Luke.
It was a collection of songs that I had written over my junior and senior year, and I wanted to create something I could look back on my college career with some semblance of accomplishment.
Alfie: It seems like a really cheery break up album teamed with Summer Bunmer which is unusual – Is there any inspiration behind it or are you your own man?
Alex: Haha, well yeah it’s definitely a break up album. But in a “jeez you need to get over yourself and move on with your life” kind of break up album – Less wallowing in sadness and more slapping myself in the face.
Alfie: What would you say your favourite song is?
Alex: That’s an impossible question, but I would say the Abbey Road Medley is the best collection of songs ever. Every Single Thing by Homeshake is my current favourite.
Alfie: What’s your least favourite song?
Alex: I try not to have a least favourite song. I just can’t do EDM yet. I’m trying to like it but I don’t get it… yet.
Alfie: So is Anxious Acid next – what can we expect from that?
Alex: It will be a sonic improvement from SFBS because my incredibly talented friend Andy Jones (who’s in a very good band called Ther) produced it in their basement. I’m out of school now, working in a corporate job and getting used to living without any of my school friends. I developed a nasty case of acid reflux while in college (fraternity bro!) and now I am functioning in a semi constant state of discomfort.
I felt very alone for a while, and I tend to feel inspired when I’m sad because it cheers me up.
Alfie: So it’s a slightly more mature direction you’re going? A similar theme in being upset but for different reasons…
Alex: It’s definitely darker, but the songs are also better. And it made me feel better, because now I’m writing some more interesting music. It allowed me to get out of my head. It should be out by July 8th
Alfie: Is there anything you want to add?
Alex: Yeah, Anxious Acid also had help from this band Zillawatt – way better musicians than me.
Alfie: Lastly, what’s your favourite original song of yours?
Alex: The old album would be Gypsy Gia, the new one is Touch
And that’s Alex McGuire. Very cool guy and he made it known that he’s “like a small, white, dumb, less talented, less attractive, less iconic Beyoncé”. So he’s humble too.
In case you were wondering, Alex’s brilliant album artworks are designed and produced by the supremely talented Joe Maccarone – you can check out his work here.
Look out for Anxious Acid in July (it will be downloadable here), it’s going to be great. Until then, get your fill on Alex’s SoundCloud, Bandcamp and YouTube! He’s obviously going to be big so you want to be one of those people who can say “Oh Alex McGuire? Yeah I knew him before it was cool”…
Images via AlexMcGuireMusic