The Melbourne-native has released her EP B-Grade University, to which I find is the perfect title for the “college” that life, itself, becomes once you leave university. Although from Australia, Lahey seems to have fallen for the common, world notion every child is taught: work hard and you will be rewarded. The idea is sweet and purports other notions like a college diploma is a red-carpet to any job you want. Unfortunately, this is not true, which may be why many Millennials have adopted a new motto for life: work hard, play harder. Lahey pronounces this notion in “Let’s Go Out” and “Wes Anderson”, where she sings to partying and potential lovers as lighter notes to the darker ones Millennials face. Debt, unemployment, and the natural bout of twenty-something angst/ambition laces this album with a subtle complexity. Beneath chords of pop-indie guitar riffing that can make you want to jump on your bed and rock out like no one is looking, rises a voice that is both relevant and dangerously cool Alex Lahey.
Lahey’s vocals are calm, collected, and chill. She represents the laxness of Millennial personas by singing her lyrics with a casual ease. Her words of wisdom and desires for “better”, without a solid idea of what “better” is, will land upon the minds and heart of twenty-somethings that understand the excitement and confusion of being this era’s youth. Her songs have a subtle up-beat that manages to show the optimism or, at least, the frustrated resilience of this generation, whose limited opportunities can clash with its vast dreams. “Ivy Legaue” and “You Don’t Think You Like People Like Me” are so deeply honest that they become simple. Lahey has visionary lyricism that paints expansive pictures of being young, going to friends’ houses, using the free Wi-Fi of coffee shops, or whatever actions associated with Millennials. Yet, she also knows how to hit emotional beats like in “L-L-L Leave Me Alone”. Sometimes, when you are youn,g you struggle between wanting to be apart of the world and wishing to never see it again. For an album that aims to show the nuances of Millennial issues, B-Grade University is effortless.