BASED these days in Melbourne, born and raised over in Hong Kong, Alex Fasso has been quietly migrating his seductive and blissful tunesmithery away from the brittle acoustic introspection of his earlier work – check the lockdown lovely “Happy 4 U”, for instance, committed to tape during that first, weird, weird period when we all got more acquainted than we’d like with our four walls – towards a more synth-coloured
He’s ready to release his new EP, They All Look The Same, which is pencilled in for June; and we’re pleased as punch to reveal his warm, rainy-day evocation of a particular ‘burb in his adopted home city “Northside”, today. You can hear that below.
That acoustic guitar is still in evidence, laying out a two-chord arpeggio which the synths wash and haze like looking through a raindrop-patterned cafe window; “They try to stand out by doing cocaine,” he sings of the denizens of the neighbourhood, with a wondering eye. Skeletal synthwave percussion shuffle the song forward, and there’s some judicious sampled film dialogue: ” I’m shaking the dust of this crummy little town off my feet and I’m gonna see the world!” resolves the song just so, (it’s James Stewart as George Bailey in It’s A Wonderful Life, cineastes!)
Alex says of the song and that the seed that inspired him to write it: ‘’’Northside’ is about this suburb in Melbourne – that I won’t name because I don’t want to offend too many people.
“It’s about how we’re in a world where everyone wants to stand out from societal norms but the people from the suburb just all look the same. They all dress the same, shop at the same stores, smoke the same cigarettes, go to the same bars and really by them doing this they in fact aren’t ‘indie’, they are just the same as everyone else.”
Looking in with an detached perception at this particular part of town, in general Alex intends to keep the lines blurred as to his musical inspirations.
“My goal as an artist is to try, as much as I can, to not let the audience find out what songs are inspired by truth and what songs are fiction,” he says.
“I want the audience to listen to my music and find meaning for themselves rather than me telling them how they are meant to think and feel.”
Alex began the year with a performance and interview with Melbourne’s UnderShelter Sessions on YouTube – you can watch him captured in a tiny desk situation, as it were, here.
With a burgeoning reputation in the Garden City and back in Hong Kong Alex, who cites Bon Iver and Mac DeMarco among his inspirations, is looking to expand his reach and get his tunes and tales out there. Seems like the unhurried delights of “Northside” is a really good place to start.