Alex Lahey Is More Confident Than Ever on 'The Best of Luck Club'

Photo: Callum Preston / Pitch Perfect PR

The dive bars of Nashville inspire indie rocker Alex Lahey on her sophomore record, The Best of Luck Club.

The Best of Luck Club
Alex Lahey

Dead Oceans

17 May 2019

A good dive bar is a mostly universal concept. First off, it's unassuming. You have to take it as it is. There might be some patches on the walls, and there is normally some senseless trash hung around. The aesthetic is either cringy or barren, with no in-between. Most importantly, there are people. The only thing they have in common is their location. Look on the ground. The cowboy boots mingle with the converse and the work boots. It can be a place to hide or a place to be seen. It's all about what you're looking for.

When Australian indie rocker, Alex Lahey, was visiting Tennessee to record her sophomore record, The Best of Luck Club, she didn't know what she was looking for when she walked into some of Nashville's infamous dive bars. What she found was comfort.

Alex Lahey only has one other full-length on her record, 2017's I Love You Like a Brother. It was a red carpet entrance into guitar-led indie rock. The songs come at you like a runaway van and throw sick riffs and melodies in your yard as they burn out down the avenue. Songs like "Everyday's the Weekend", "I Haven't Been Taking Care of Myself", "Let's Call It a Day" stand tall and strong on the mountain of fussy indie rock. Lahey tackles all the daily struggles of a hopeless 20-something, all while slinging earworms at us at a furious pace. It's a great record and would be a great summer record for the as yet uninitiated.

The Best of Luck Club, is a definite step up for Lahey. Initially, it may seem like a lateral move, as it's a lot like I Love You Like a Brother. The themes are similar: relationship troubles, self-care, and a heavy dose of heart moves. The structures are fairly similar, as well. The growth shows itself in the details.

"Unspoken History" is a ballad built like a brick wall. I Love You Like a Brother was moving too fast to slow down and shimmer with beauty. On "Unspoken History" she does just this. Later, on "Isabella", Lahey shows us another new side of her songwriting: the bouncy inconsequential pop song. While it may not last all summer long on your playlist, "Isabella" is a song worthy of a few smiles. Most importantly, this record absolutely glows with confidence. A riff like that of "Misery Guts" cannot be played sheepishly, that's for sure.

And as far as confidence is concerned, that's where the title, The Best of Luck Club comes from. While meandering through the streets of Nashville, Lahey slid into a couple of dives, and what she loved the most were the words of comfort given on the way out the door after a stimulating conversation: "Best of luck." She felt comfort from the comradery, and it shows in her confidence on this record. Let's thank the bars of Nashville for this one, folks.





The Cyclops and the Sunken Place: Narrative Control in 'Watchmen' and 'Get Out'

Hollywood is increasing Black representation but Damon Lindelof and Jordan Peele challenge audiences to question the authenticity of this system.

Featured: Top of Home Page

'Breathing Through the Wound' Will Leave You Gasping for Air

As dizzying as Víctor Del Árbol's philosophy of crime may appear, the layering of motifs in Breathing Through the Wound is vertiginous.


12 Essential Kate Bush Songs

While Kate Bush is a national treasure in the UK, American listeners don't know her as well. The following 12 songs capture her irrepressible spirit.


Tatsuya Nakatani and Shane Parish Replace Form with Risk on 'Interactivity'

The more any notions of preconceived musicality are flicked to the curb, the more absorbing Tatsuya Nakatani and Shane Parish's Interactivity gets.


Martin Green's Junkshop Yields the Gritty, Weird Story of Britpop Wannabes

Featuring a litany of otherwise-forgotten budget bin purchases, Martin Green's two-disc overview of coulda-been Britpop contenders knows little of genre confines, making for a fun historical detour if nothing else.


Haux Compellingly Explores Pain via 'Violence in a Quiet Mind'

By returning to defined moments of pain and struggle, Haux cultivates breathtaking music built on quiet, albeit intense, anguish.


'Stratoplay' Revels in the Delicious New Wave of the Revillos

Cherry Red Records' six-disc Revillos compilation, Stratoplay, successfully charts the convoluted history of Scottish new wave sensations.


Rising Young Jazz Pianist Micah Thomas Debuts with 'Tide'

Micah Thomas' Tide is the debut of a young jazz pianist who is comfortable and fluent in a "new mainstream": abstraction as well as tonality, freedom as well as technical complexity.


Why Australia's Alice Ivy Doesn't Want to Sleep

Alice Ivy walks a fine line between chillwave cool and Big Beat freakouts, and her 2018 debut record was an electropop wonder. Now, in the middle of a pandemic, she tries to keep the good vibes going with a new record decked out in endless collaborations.


Five Women Who Fought the Patriarchy

Whether one chooses to read Square Haunting for the sketches of the five fascinating women, or to understand how misogyny and patriarchy constricted intellectual and public life in the period, Francesca Wade's book is a superb achievement.


Director Denis Côté on Making Film Fearlessly

In this interview with PopMatters, director Denis Côté recalls 2010's Curling (now on Blu-Ray) discusses film as a "creative experiment in time", and making films for an audience excited by the idea of filling in playful narrative gaps.


Learning to Take a Picture: An Interview With Inara George

Inara George is unafraid to explore life's more difficult and tender moments. Discussion of her latest music, The Youth of Angst, leads to stories of working with Van Dyke Parks and getting David Lee Roth's musical approval.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.