The General Journal

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The General Journal

The General Journal

Diving into “DSU” with Kaya Bradford

Alex G once said, “The ladies love the guitar.” Do we Alex?? Do we really???
Kaya Bradford

Alex G is an indie rock artist with many different eras of music. He’s been popularized on TikTok in the past few years, with songs like Sarah, Treehouse, Mary, Advice, 16 Mirrors, Candy and many more blowing up for their unique sound and lyrics. However, in the past, Alex G was a hidden gem, whose music was mostly spread through blogs or word of mouth. While Alex’s most well known album is Trick, today we will be looking at DSU.

DSU was released in 2014, following Trick. The album was originally going to be called Dream State University, based on an inside-joke Alex had with his sister. However, he began to hate the name and ended up just switching to DSU last minute. While honestly, this album has no bad songs, the stand out tracks include “Harvey,” “After Ur Gone,” “Hollow,” “Sorry,” “Soaker,” and “Black Hair.

The album opens up with “After Ur Gone” which was an amazing experience to listen to. Something about the vocals paired with the instrumentals that only Alex can pull off makes for an amazing sound. “After you’re gone/How can we tell them/You’re gone?/How can we show them/You’re gone?” repeats throughout the song. This song, to me, represents losing someone close to you and having to explain to the others in your life that they’ve left and aren’t coming back. 

The third song on the album, “Harvey,” really stood out to me as well. I’d heard snippets of it, but listening to it in its entirety was an amazing experience. This song is absolutely beautifully written and produced. There is some debate about what this song is about among fans; many insist it’s about a dog or pet, but this was debunked a few years ago when Alex confirmed Harvey is a human character. Many believe it’s about a little brother, as he talks about comforting Harvey, with the lines “He wakes up in the middle of the night/I run in and turn on the light/Run my hands through his short black hair/ I love you, Harvey, I don’t care.” Alex also says that Harvey “Doesn’t understand what big boys do.” So, while that theory would make sense, none of this has ever been confirmed by Alex.

Black hair” follows “Rejoyce” on the album. It has a harsh beginning, but soon relaxes into a mellow instrumental. This song is one of the more unique sounding ones off this album, and it pairs well with “Serpent Is Lord.” I absolutely adore this track. I love the distortion Alex uses on his voice in this song, and how it changes throughout the song according to what he’s singing.

While every song on this album is spectacular, my favorite is easily “Sorry.” I am fully confident I could write an essay on just this song. It has a more melancholy feel to it, but the familiar, comforting kind. In my opinion, this song is about still caring for someone who has left/moved on, even if it isn’t for the better for either of you. “I’ll get my cure/Wait in the car/I wont remember who you are,” expresses this narrative beautifully, but my favorite lyrics from this song are “I look at you and feel the same/Could you forgive me for that?”

Hollow” is one of the last songs on the album, and is also one of my favorites. This song is absolutely beautiful, and the electric guitar is one of the best additions to the song. The lyrics are also very beautiful to me. “Don’t let me down/I know/Im hollow,” “You made a big/Mistake/Go away,” and “I know him/I know how much/He wants/To stay,” are some of my favorite lyrics throughout the song. There are a large amount of interpretations, but in my opinion, this song represents a friendship, where one person is trying their hardest to keep it together, and while the other is aware that they’re being mean, they can’t bring themselves to change. 

Soaker” is one of two bonus tracks on the album, and it is spectacular. While the other bonus track, “Waiting For You” is beautiful, it is nothing compared to “Soaker.” The lyrics are repeated, but have a strong meaning. “All I want to do is get a little closer to you/But you, You’re like glue/I’m like water and you’re like glue/All I ever do is soak through you.” This song, to me, reads as someone who wants more from a friendship, while the other just wants to stay friends. This song has an eerie, familiar feeling, and I highly recommend you listen to it.

Overall, this album is absolutely beautiful. Alex G is one of the most influential and prevalent indie artists of our time, with new songs going viral basically every minute on TikTok. Alex was right, ladies do love the guitar. I may be biased, as I do love most indie music, but I have to say, DSU is one of the best indie albums I’ve listened to of all time. This album is easily a 10/10 rating, and one of those things everyone should listen to at least once.


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About the Contributor
Kaya Bradford
Kaya Bradford, Staff Writer
Kaya Bradford is a freshmen student attending Heritage High School. This is her first year of Journalism, and so far it has been her favorite class to attend. In Kaya’s spare time, she enjoys listening to (a LOT) of music, including Tokio Hotel, Radiohead, Baby Keem, She Wants Revenge, Kendrick Lamar, and many other artists from varying genres. She also enjoys reading, writing, drawing, and some other various creative outlets. Kaya also loves spending time with animals, including her cat “Baby-Cat,” who was originally a stray but is now a proper housecat. One thing Kaya wants to do one day is attend a Tokio Hotel concert or a Radiohead concert. She also enjoys quite a few movies and shows, including "New Girl," "Criminal Minds," "Heathers," "Tokio Hotel TV," and all of the "Harry Potter" movies, though she says "Goblet Of Fire" is the best one. Kaya’s favorite books include "Lord Of The Flies," "One Of Us Is Lying," "Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire," and "IT."  Kaya also enjoys comedians and Youtubers Kurtis Conner, Danny Gonzalez, and the Sturniolo Triplets. Most of all, Kaya enjoys spending time with her friends and family.