DIRTY BEACHES-Drifters/Love Is The Devil.


I find it quite difficult to write about a band or singer after I’ve interviewed them; especially after I think I’ve exhausted everything I could possibly say about them. Then the sensible part of my brain kicks in and makes me realise I could quite happily go on and on about my favourite music until the end of time.

I think it is fairly obvious how much I love Dirty Beaches. His music has provided a familiar sense of tranquillity and acceptance. The acceptance comes from me; hard work I know. But it has to be done. His music is nothing short of genius. His music is nothing short of sheer perfection. Every note, every word, every little detail is just divine. I’ve been a fan for as long as I can remember. His B-sides have blown my mind and his soundtracks have made me weep. So what on earth has his new two record done to me?

Drifters is the vocal album. Drifters is the one I’ll be playing when I’m wandering around with no concept of home, finding a sense of it in Alex’s music. Love Is The Devil is the one I will play when I cannot sleep. The instrumental album is the one to soothe the soul. The vocal is the one to wake it up. If you really want to shake things up, alternate the songs you listen to. One from Drifters, then one from Love Is The Devil. Or you could just listen to the records one after another to truly see where Alex is coming from.

I’ll mention Love Is The Devil first because I feel this is the one that’s going to stir up some crazy feelings for anyone that listens to it. When I heard the title track I pretty much had the same reaction that everyone else did. Yeah, this sensitive soul right here cried. I cried because you could truly feel pain in the music. Words were not needed. Sometimes words are the worst thing; they can do more harm than good. There aren’t many musicians that can make an instrumental record with so much emotion. So much intensity and a raw delight to it, yet remain so delicate. This is why I believe Alex is from another world, he must be. I know I keep saying he’s a genius but, he truly is. The way he can create so many emotions in just one song and keep it consistent all the way through just leaves you in awe. From this record, my heart firmly belongs to Alone At The Danube River. I shut my eyes as I listened to this one and I was anywhere but here. That’s the best place to be. I get a lot of escapism from Alex’s music, and as someone who cannot stand where they currently live (its okay, I’m moving to London in a few weeks, finally!) music is the truest form of escaping the mundane trials of everyday life here. His music just takes me to another place. I place I suppose I can call home. I’ve wandered around places at night on my own listening to his music, and it always feels like an outer-body experience. Love Is The Devil is more than just an instrumental record; it’s a journey deep into the soul. A journey you will not forget once you are guided through it by Alex.

Now let’s get into Drifters.

Drifters opens with the killer Night Walk. This is a song you will strut along the streets late at night to. It has this insanely 80s beat to it mixed with something sinister. Like a vengeful menace on the prowl. Something is lurking and is coming for you. A menacing vibe to sift in and out during Drifters, and for the most part you can really see why Alex has made soundtracks. Drifters feels like it would be perfectly placed in a horror or thriller film. The 10 minute Mirage Hall is my favourite from Drifters. You see, I have a huge weakness for songs that last over 5 minutes. I love music that just seems to go on forever yet still manages to fill you with excitement as you are taken on a journey through the singer/band’s mind. The last track, Landscapes In The Mist is full of ethereal moments that make you pause before you listen to Love Is The Devil. Part of you thinks, “Maybe I should play Drifters one more time.” You know you must carry on, but then you find yourself at the end of Love Is The Devil going back to Drifters and playing both records on a constant loop. This is how you know you are listening to something truly spectacular.

A lot of new music has come out this year so far, but none have offered what Alex has. He’s created a soundtrack to daily life with these two records. He’s easily made the best two records you will hear this year, you cannot deny him of that. Listening to both records, I’ve developed more respect and admiration for what Alex does. This is a person who truly has music in their blood; that they just HAVE to make music. And it is his sheer passion for music that makes you fall so easily for his music. I cannot favour one record over the other because both are so different yet equally perfect. Both records conjure up different emotions yet provide the same source of comfort. I hope a lot is written about both of these records because they are something that just cannot be ignored. What stands out in both records is the labour that has gone into making them. Anyone who is a fan of Alex knows exactly how hard he works and how much he puts into his music. I think this is something that plays a massive part in being a fan of his music. He’s constantly putting music out, but not in an overbearing way. He leaves you wanting more, and with a back catalogue that is more impressive than most- he can easily add these two records as his best work to date, as clichéd as it sounds. I hope someone who isn’t familiar with his music stumbles across Drifters/Love Is The Devil and develops a lasting obsession. I hope they listen to it and find the pieces of themselves that have been missing for some time.

Whilst most are set on creating a summer-vibe record, Alex keeps you in comforting darkness of the harshest of winters. The loneliness that may enrage you is slowly disappearing, because you realise that someone else gets it. Someone else is unleashing all you feel- with and without words. That is why these two records are not only extremely important but also incredible.

2 thoughts on “DIRTY BEACHES-Drifters/Love Is The Devil.

  1. You have encapsulated my feelings about this album so much.
    Having adored everything Alex has released so far I was eagerly awaiting this album, knowing it would be phenomenal. But I didn’t expect anything THIS good. Jesus…

    I’m glad someone has managed to put this perfect album into words, because everytime I try to do so I find myself either dragging myself off to escape in its sounds once more or not coming anywhere near doing the album justice!

    This may be the greatest musical achievement in my opinion since Rock Bottom by Robert Wyatt. It may even be superior to that.

    I cry every time I get to ELLI, calm down a little, then get hit by Mirage Hall. I have never been this affected by any work of art before, it is bizarre but I am aware that I am in the presence of a master at work.

    This review is fantastic. I am glad I found someone who could put the album into words. Maybe I will be able to try and form an opinion that doesn’t go on for hours incoherently.

    This is the masterpiece the world has needed. I just hope more people begin to take notice. If anyone deserves it, Alex does.

    I am jealous you got to interview him as well. I may drop him an e-mail or tweet, if I don’t collapse in awe if he replies haha. I am a film maker and would do anything to feature his gorgeous works in one of my pictures. The missing piece indeed.

    Thank you for your review. And thanks to Alex for making at least two of us fall about crying with this genius.

    Hopefully many more to come!

    Apologies for rambling too… Alone At Danube River is playing and I am understandably distracted!

    Thanks for your time.

    • Samuel,

      Thank you so much for your comment. I’ve had quite a few about bands I’ve written about and stuff, but yours means the most. It truly does, no bullshit. It means the most because I don’t think enough really get what Alex is doing, so for someone to hear Alex’s music the way I do and to really really get it means so much.

      When I played Drifters/Love Is The Devil it was like..everything I felt that was missing in music was found right there. His previous work is phenomenal. His soundtracks are pieces of art. My favourite release has to be the Night City record; so dark. I just love the way his music makes you think and feel. His music has this way of pulling you apart and reducing you to tears, but you’re then just in awe of everything he does. Whether its instrumental or he’s singing his heart out.

      Have you seen him live? If you haven’t, next time he tours near you you must go see him. I saw him about 2 weeks ago and it was one of the best things I’ve ever witnessed. I was stood at the front and to see him unleash himself in that way was truly remarkable.

      He deserves nothing but respect and admiration; it’s good to know there are others out there that feel the same. Thank you x

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