Australia has a huge star on their hands. No, I’m not talking about my fellow Vendetta writer Jarrod Prosser, although if you haven’t read his ‘AFTER THE 2020 NBA DRAFT, WHICH TEAMS STILL HAVE MOVES TO MAKE?’ what are you waiting for? I’m talking instead of singer-songwriter Alex Lahey who released ‘Between the Kitchen and The Living Room’ EP in May of this year.
The 28-year-old Melbourne native rehashed some old songs for the five-track release, reworking each one to give it a completely different feel. Think Bon Jovi’s 2003 release ‘This Left Feels Right’ except actually good. Lahey also engineered and produced all the songs from within her mother’s house where she is currently staying during the pandemic.
The EP has a certain Damien Rice ‘O’ feel which isn’t a surprise given the nature of the recording. Each song was recorded in a different area of the house which is indicated in each track title just like a portion of Rice’s breakout hit album. They range from Bedroom to Bathroom to Attic, hence the title.
“Funnily enough, said room also happens to be the exact place many of these songs were written some years ago,”Lahey told Rolling Stone Australia in May.
My introduction to Alex Lahey was one of those famous YouTube rabbit holes I spoke about while reviewing Shakey Graves’ ‘Look Alive’. I happened to come across the talented Australian covering ‘The Black Parade’ by emo stalwarts My Chemical Romance. There was something about her voice that reminded me a lot of early Rob Thomas and I was hooked.
The songs on ‘Between the Kitchen and the Living Room’ capture her voice in all her angsty glory with the emotion showing through. None more so than on ‘I Haven’t Been Taking Care of Myself (Hallway Version)’ which is stripped bare from the original on 2017’s ‘I Love You Like a Brother’ album. The change gives the song a completely different feel from the toe-tapping fast-paced original and to a certain extent lets you inside the vulnerability of the singer.
If I was trying to be picky I would say I prefer these covers than the overproduce originals, but even that is minimal. It all depends on the mood you request while listening. The fact that the songs hold up both ways is just a testament to the talent possessed by Alex Lahey.
Vendetta Rating: 5/5