Grunge Romance | “Gretel” – (Sandy) Alex G


Sarah Beltran, Senior Staff Writer

Good ol’ Sandy has returned with a track that reminds us why we keep listening to his sad-ass music. Even though he “doesn’t want to go back,” Alex G has gone back to his older roots in his new single “Gretel.” The song is the first we have heard since his 2017 album Rocket (from the stray drop “Fay”) and is our first taste of his forthcoming album.

The chilling romanticism of “Gretel” covers its listeners gradually with a mist of Rocket-style melancholy played with Trick-style instrumentation. While country influence took up most of the spotlight in his most recent album, it seems to once more be fading into the background to showcase a grungier feel. Alex G has turned his back slightly on the twang of “Bobby” in favor of “Sarah”-esque guitar and synth. However, there is a newfound seriousness on “Gretel,” particularly in the foreboding sirens and lyrics: “I don’t wanna go back/Nobody’s gonna push me off track.” It’s almost like a bad omen of hope? Even though he sings of not wanting to go back, the sounds accompanying it are telling anything but a happy fortune. This juxtaposition creates the relatable yet mysterious sound that we keep going back for.

Alex G’s newest album, House of Sugar, will be released this coming September and is sure to be filled with similar Grimm narratives to “Gretel”. Even if this uneasy ballad has its premonitions, it makes music-listeners hopeful for what is to come from Alex. 

Featured image by Riley James, a photographer at Impact; taken at Pitchfork Music Festival 2018.