My Favorite Album: Alex Lahey on The Killers’ “Hot Fuss” | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Wednesday, October 4th, 2023  

My Favorite Album: Alex Lahey on The Killers’ “Hot Fuss”

“It was the first time I heard a record on my own accord, that my parent hadn’t shown me, that was a really, really, really great album.”

Oct 06, 2020 Photography by Callum Preston Alex Lahey
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I think I was about 12 or 13 when it came out, but I think I really got into it when I was about 14. I was sort of resistant to it for a little while, I think because it was a really successful record and I was sort of getting into my stage, you know how we all go through that stage—some people never get out of it—where they try to resist what’s popular. I was on the cusp of that very adolescent stage, which luckily didn’t last very long because you miss out on really good shit by having that mentality. So I resisted listening to it for a while because I didn’t want to like it, but then when I did, because I’d matured or whatever, it was the first time I heard a record on my own accord, that my parents hadn’t shown me, that was a really, really, really great album.

Neither of my parents, or anyone in my family for that matter, are musicians, but my mom in particular has always had a very eclectic and varied taste in music, and I’ve always been surrounded by music. I was raised on everything from opera to Gregorian chants to Bob Seger to Spice Girls. Everything. I’ve been really lucky that I’ve been able to be exposed to that my whole life and for me that’s the norm.

I think with Hot Fuss, it was mainly the songs and the energy. That record has so much energy. There’s also something very performative about it. I think Brandon Flowers in particular brings such a theatrical kind of approach to rock and roll, without putting on a costume or face paint or any of that sort of stuff. It was just that high-energy, really performance/theatrical-based rock and roll music that really got me. It was also the first time I’d really heard synths, that early 2000s era.

I’ve always been playing music. The thing is though I wasn’t really playing guitar much when I discovered that record—certainly not electric guitar. And it was one of those things where I wasn’t really familiar with how what they were doing worked, because at the time was I was playing a lot of saxophone, which didn’t really apply to The Killers then. Later it did, but not during Hot Fuss. And it was sort of this mystery for me, which is why it appealed to me so much. I had no idea how it was being done and I think I just accepted the magic of it, which made it even more special.

(Melbourne, Australia-based artist Alex Lahey recently released her sophomore album, The Best of Luck Club, on Dead Oceans. The album, which she wrote in Nashville and recorded back home, finds Lahey branching out into more varied stylistic territory, even featuring her saxophone on a few tracks, and is marked by driving tempos and earworm-catchy melodies galore. Portions of Alex Lahey’s conversation have been abridged and edited for structure and flow.)

[Note: This article originally appeared in Issue 66 of Under the Radar’s print magazine. This is its debut online. For the issue we interviewed musicians and actors about their all-time favorite album.]

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