Frontman James Alex of Beach Slang brought his stripped-down project, Quiet Slang, to Brooklyn’s Rough Trade on July 9th.
It was a rainy Monday evening, and the show had been rescheduled from a prior date. Given those conditions, Alex was unsure, as he relayed to the audience between songs, how many people would show up. However, those concerns proved to be unfounded as the room was filled with fans hanging on every word.
Unlike Beach Slang shows, which are loud, clamorous, and brash, Quiet Slang is another entity entirely. As heard on Everything Matters But No One Is Listening, Quiet Slang’s debut LP, Alex has taken his work with Beach Slang and reimagined it, doing away with its thrashing, thunderous elements. Instead, Alex takes a sparse, orchestral approach: cello and piano, paired with his gritty vocals, give these formerly driving punk songs space to breathe, resurrecting them with new, balladic life.
This was reflected decoratively, as well. The stage set its own scene with flowers and strings of white lights with makeshift cotton clouds hanging in the distance. The rest of the venue was pitch-black save for a projector screen playing images of ballet dancers. Moving through the set, Alex was all heart from his honest vocals and earnest speeches of appreciation, thanking his fans over and over.
Quiet or loud, Alex delivered his audience an unforgettable night.
For aspiring artist and writer James Alex of Beach Slang – now exploring uncharted territories with his new project Quiet Slang – “Rock and roll is sort of my consolation prize for wanting to have been a writer.” Both of these dreams are fulfilled as he performs all over the world and now hears lyrics, written by his own hand, shouted back to him while performing in front of hundreds of fans. On May 18th, alt-rock project Quiet Slang is set to release its debut, Everything Matters But No One Is Listening, which has earned the attention of an overwhelming amount of fans and critics all throughout the music industry.
Setting aside all of the hype surrounding this new release, there is a wonderful kind of artistry that is woven throughout each track. Each line holds poetic, relevant meaning to anyone who is lucky enough to hear it. Accompanied by the beautiful, hypnotizing rasp of Alex’s voice, the instrumental aspects of this album embrace the minimalistic nuances that are so clearly embodied in the title of this new rock outfit, Quiet Slang. As a wonderful tribute to the roots of this genre, the almost tangible melancholy of this album is wonderfully enticing and cushioned by the powerfully emotive cellos, piano and vocal talent.
In his own words, Alex explains that this group was brought together to convey one attribute: “Tenderness. I suppose that sounds overly simplified. But, still, it makes it no less sincere. Look, I’m trying to soften the world a little bit—there’s worse ways to be remembered.”
Throughout the album, certain themes are easily recognizable, the importance of sound and how silence can be more powerful. Along with this sentiment, each track emotes events and experiences that are relevant to young listeners and things that are often experienced at that age. With so much going for this upcoming group, it is almost impossible to ignore the blatant talent that is found within each verse of lyrical genius which has brought them to where they are now.
Keep your eyes peeled this Friday, and keep up with Quiet Slang here.