I’m a relatively new contributor to EARMILK. But if you’ve had a chance to check out a few of my previous posts, you’ve probably gotten a sense of the sort of music that I typically listen to. On most days I can be found listening to some sort of hip-hop & soul music hybrid that gives me a chance to wax nostalgic about my youth (which has long since passed) while also allowing me to feel somewhat connected to what’s happening in today’s music. How I was able to trick the staff of this site to give me a platform to talk about artists that weren’t even born when I was a teenager listening to Oaktown 357 brag about their “W.A.P” (Google “Juicy Gotcha Krazy” kids) is a special kind of magic that even I don’t fully comprehend. I’m glad that they did though because I don’t think I would have otherwise had the opportunity to check out an album like Good Company from Alex Blue – a celebrated indie-pop singer and YouTube star formerly known as Alex G. This four-track pilgrimage back to her folk & country music roots is a deeply-felt experience that beautifully covers rustic gems from the past and speaks to audiences across several different divides in the here-and-now.
Opening with the song “Morning Has Broken”, we are introduced to Alex and her sweet, tender voice as she pours warm notes and spiritual lyrics from her heart into ours. Accompanied by little more than the sound of some hushed rainfall, a calming synth-pad, and some occasional harmonies from a reverent choir, Blue unhurriedly ascends skyward with this serene album opener. The song “It Ain’t Me Babe” (which features an assist from the band Darling West) arrives with sweet-tempered pep and brings an angelic polish to a song that originally came into being through the gravelly tone of the one and only Bob Dylan. Even as Alex pushes away the person that’s attempting to hand over their heart, her voice is full of grace. And while that may not help her get the point across to her wannabe-lover, it definitely makes for a wonderful tune. Taking a step onto bluesier turf, the Nashville-based performer surrenders a studied cover of John Prine’s “Angel From Montgomery”. With some help from singer Rita Wilson, our young crooner performs with heartfelt and nuanced passion and brings a level of soulfulness to the song that immediately resonated with yours truly. Alex closes the EP masterfully by connecting with the band Sleeping At Last and exploring the Fleetwood Mac classic “Landslide”. While I’m sure this song has been covered by others in various ways, this version is absolutely absorbing in its intimacy and brings the album to a lovely close.
Admittedly, I may not be the right person to review a folk album that feels as serene as watching cold raindrops roll down a window while resting safely inside a cozy room. I’m not really equipped to tell you how well the covers compare to the originals as I don’t have a decades-long familiarity with most of the pieces visited on Good Company. But I do know what I like, and I know that I really like this album. Listening to this project on repeat was like a healing balm to my frayed nerves as of late (rest in peace to Breonna Taylor and The Notorious RBG) And even if I wasn’t the right guy to review this album, I AM the guy who name-dropped Oaktown 357, Bob Dylan, and Ruth Bader Ginsberg in a write-up for an indie-folk album. Now excuse me while I stand here in my B-boy stance…
You can check out Good Company right now, on most streaming services, courtesy of God Bless My Therapist Records