After releasing a pair of EPs, Beach Slang dropped their debut album, The Things We Do to Find People Who Feel Like Us, last October. A couple of months later, the band watched as it popped up on numerous year-end “best-of” lists.
The album doesn’t sound too far removed from classic alternative acts such as the Replacements, Superdrag, and Hüsker Dü, but that is one of the reasons it sounds unique circa 2016. These oft-emulated bands are no longer being copied by the guitar-wielding masses. Beach Slang founding father James Alex’s soulful lyrics probably have a lot to do with the attention as well.
...performs on NPR's Tiny Desk Concerts
“The only thing I really thought through when this started was that I just wanted to be really honest,” Alex explained during a tour stop in Cleveland. “Heart on my sleeve, put it out there, and if I get rejected, fuck it — I’m confident enough at this point in my life to take it. I think everything I had done previous to that I was just a delicate thing. I didn’t want to be hurt anymore. I always sort of hid away maybe the most important bits of me. With this one I feel like my spine is steady enough to be able to put them out there, and if people are, like, ‘This is just trash,’ I’m gonna still be okay.”
Last April, Alex performed solo on one of NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts. With acoustic in hand, he delivered stripped-down versions of four Beach Slang songs including a take of “Too Late to Die Young” off the debut LP. It’s no mistake that the songs transfer well to the acoustic environment, as he designs them to pass, as he referred to it, “the campfire test.” The internet performance proved to be a success.
“It was unbelievable. I knew it was a big deal and I was nervous as hell when I did it, but I couldn’t fully appreciate the reach of that thing until we toured. It was incredibly important for the band,” Alex said.
- Friday, May 6, 2016, 8 p.m.
2501 Kettner Boulevard,
If you end up seeing Beach Slang at their show at the Casbah on May 6, don’t be surprised if you catch Alex peering out into the crowd searching for a female that he met when his old band (Weston) played our fine city years ago.
“I know that for a long, long time I thought I had met the prettiest girl I had ever seen in my life at a show in San Diego. Geez Louise...my mind is fluttering backwards now. Whenever I think of San Diego, I think of that girl. I don’t know why I’m hung up. This was a long time ago. I’ve gotta do bigger and better things with my life!”