Melbourne-based musician Alex Lahey is back with her second full-length album The Best of Luck Club today (May 17).
In the three years since Lahey’s debut EP B-Grade University, the adept songwriter has made a name for herself in the international rock scene, and TBOLC grapples with her new life on the road.
On album opener “I Don’t Get Invited to Parties Anymore,” Lahey laments losing touch with friends in her hometown and longing for a simpler time, singing “Can I go back/and not be left behind?/Everything was better with no jobs or obligations.” The record also sees Lahey let loose with the punk stylings of the openly angry “Misery Guts” and bust out with a surprising, yet welcome sax solo on ‘80s-tinged “Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself.”
Throughout the ten tracks, containing her signature playful and hyper-specific lyrics, Lahey uses TBOLC to ruminate on everything from heartbreak to career lows, from mental health to vibrators.
Check out Lahey’s track-by-track breakdown of The Best of Luck Club below.
“I Don’t Get Invited To Parties Anymore”
I feel like this song had an entire lifetime before I even finished writing it. It started as a melody that came to me when I was falling asleep on a tour bus in the U.S., which was then applied to a shitty old acoustic I picked up in Portland on that same tour. From there, I finished the whole tune in Nashville when I finally had some time to sit down and write this record. It’s about falling off the radar of those people who you used to hang out with, because you’re away or assumed to be away all the time. Which is probably right, but you know, you still want to be invited…
“Am I Doing It Right?”
Being a musician is considered a weird job without any explanation necessary, but one of the strangest parts about being a musician is that there is absolutely no set pathway you’re supposed to follow to get where you want to go. This song reflects on being thrust into a lifestyle and going with it, while feeling like others are looking over your shoulder to make sure you’re doing all the right things by you and everyone else. It’s like fighting a losing battle while loving every minute of it.
I had a really awful break up in early 2017 that lead me to seeking therapy from a psychologist, which is something I had never done before. I knew things weren’t bad enough for me to need medication or ongoing intervention, but I just needed to speak to someone who could explain to me why I was feeling down and how it was all circumstantial — affirmation of what I already knew. “Interior Demeanour” is about visiting a psych that I was referred to by my GP and how she basically told me what I already knew, but needed to hear from someone removed from my situation.
“Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself”
I wrote this song for my partner, who was on tour and was feeling the fatigue and stresses of the road, as we all do. It doesn’t matter how capable or strong or resilient you may be, we all have bad days, and that’s ok. There’s nothing wrong with feeling tired after a hard day’s work, and sometimes I have to remind myself of that, too.
When I was in Nashville, I spent some time in a tiny writing room creating songs for this record. Towards the end of that time, I felt as though I was starting to exhaust my output and was starting to become complacent about what I had left to give. On one of my last days there, I was lent a guitar that was set up in a variation on open D tuning, which is something I never play in. In the process of nutting out chords and voicing in this tuning, the melody to the verses just came out. When I started putting words to it, it started off as being about one thing, but then morphed into something else, creating its own path very organically.
In the middle of last year, I had had enough. I was tired and feeling the exhaustion of constantly being around other people — I needed some space and time to myself. I was in my pyjamas one morning and started playing this punk riff I had had in my iPhone recordings for at least two years and just started gushing about how I felt at the time. I usually like to process my feelings before I write, so this was the first time that I had written about being angry at the time of being angry.
“Isabella” doesn’t really need much of an explanation — it’s about a vibrator of which the brand is called “Issy.” The song is about what I think Issy would be like if it were a person. Basically, she’d be a fucking legend.
“I Need To Move On”
This song was written when I had just acquired a little parlour acoustic guitar and a Boss CE1 clone pedal. The demo sounds like a bad rip off of The Cure, but my dear producer mum Catherine Marks really brought it back around. I suppose it’s an ode to “getting over someone by getting under someone else” but not being ready for it.
“Black RMs” is a straight up love song for my girlfriend. I wrote it for her when she was overseas touring at the start of last year and I was at home with the flu. The vocals are actually my fluey takes, hence the style of delivery. I guess the relaxed nature of the music and execution is a reflection on how stress-free the relationship is and how confident I feel about it.
“I Want To Live With You”
I wrote this song at my girlfriend’s place while she was at work one day and showed it to her when she got home. We live together now. My uncle, who isn’t a guitar player himself, had this incredible 12-string Rickenbacker living at this house, which he had organised to be left for me in his will. But before going into the studio to make this record, he came over to my place and gave me the guitar under the condition that I’d put it to use now. I’m very happy to say that throughout the record and on this song in particular, Catherine and I used that guitar very liberally — it’s actually what’s in the guitar case on the back cover of the album art.