Disclaimer: I may have an obsession with Australian female songwriters.
There have been some major women artists who have come from down under. Sia, Iggy Azalea, Kylie Minogue, Lenka, and Natalie Imbruglia have all garnered attention over the years. Today there is a new generation of songwriters who have set a different tone in music. Although different styles of music, there’s a common bond with the new ladies on the block.
Courtney Barnett, Julia Jacklin, Grace, and Gordi all carry a renewed sense of honesty and authentic lyricism in their music. Their songs are lyrically packed with powerful relationship situations. The Turf Club hosted an emerging voice from Melbourne, one who is once again making me realize my adoration for Australia.
The evening started with another Melbourne native, Caroline Kingsbury. From Melbourne, Florida, Kingsbury was quick to capture the attention of the audience. Streaking black eyeliner, a stern, fierce attitude, and her soulful voice cut through the arriving crowd. Having already released 3 singles in 2019 that have garnered over a million streams, Kingsbury carries intensely personal lyrics through dreamy pop rock songs.
Her set of 8 songs was filled with body moving moments like “In My Brain.” A bittersweet love-letter, the song had Kingsbury dancing to convey the 80’s inspired big drums and synthesized simmer. “U Take It Back” also was a standout performance as Kingsbury grabbed the hand of an excited lady in the crowd and cracked a smile. The set was a great combination of heavier rock songs and slower dreamy vocal performances that saw Kingsbury deliver an inspired introduction to her music.
Starting off Alex Lahey’s set was the first two songs off of her 2019 release The Best of Luck Club. The crowd was immediately engaged and was able to sing right along. Complimenting her was a full band that nicely supported Alex throughout the evening. Two songs in, the crowd quickly imposed our Minnesota nice by doing an impromptu singing of “Happy Birthday” for the drummer. As Alex shared, our Midwestern nice “must be in the milk.”
Eight of the ten tracks off of the new album found their way to the stage. A standout from those tracks was her acoustic performance of “Unspoken History,” accompanied by a piano. It fit perfectly in the roar of the set and made for a cooling-off moment 7 songs in. Alex has a gift for crafting melodically galvanizing and easily relatable pop-punk anti-anthems.
“I got tired of feeling that you weren’t the same
Couldn’t understand why you weren’t the one to blame
We used to be unbeatable, you used to be my saint
Now I fear that it might be too late”
It was a track from her 2016 release B-Grade University that really amplified the set. “You Don’t Think You Like People Like Me” had the audience jumping and waving their hands. It was an instant jolt of energy. Alex shared she felt like Minnesota has supported her from the very beginning. A testament to that statement were the throngs of fans in front who sang and pumped their fists throughout the entire set.
Disclaimer: I did not know that Alex Lahey could play sax.
There was a moment during “Don’t Be so Hard on Yourself” where Alex picked up the saxophone and ripped a solo that sent shivers throughout the already energized crowd. Maybe it’s because the song references our hometown hero, Coach Bombay, but the front row ate it up. Her Australian honesty showed through when Alex announced there would be no encore, and instead she’d stay on stage to save time.
The remainder of the set included the infectious “Every Day’s the Weekend” and “I Haven’t Been Taking Care of Myself.” Both songs were powerful singalongs that capped off an evening of dynamic guitar-based tunes with equal parts hooks and attitude. Alex Lahey strengthened her fan base in Minnesota at the Turf Club last night.
“You were my drug, now I’m withdrawing
When you’re in my blood, nothing’s ever boring
I feel it through my veins, so eager to please
You give me chest pains, and let my heart rate ease”
- I Don’t Get Invited to Parties Anymore
- Am I Doing It Right?
- Awkward Exchange
- Black RMs
- Interior Demeanour
- I Want to Live with You
- Unspoken History
- Lotto in Reverse
- You Don’t Think You Like People Like Me
- Misery Guts
- Don’t Be so Hard on Yourself
- Every Day’s the Weekend
- I Haven’t Been Taking Care of Myself