Alex Izenberg Alex Izenberg & The Exiles

Release date:
July 26, 2024
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As Alex Izenberg was piecing together the sweeping, psychedelic opuses on his full-band debut Alex Izenberg & The Exiles, the Los Angeles artist was focused on a simple goal: making something built to last. At the heart of his songs are bold ideas that take inspiration from the heady musings of philosopher Alan Watts, the multi-layered storytelling of King Crimson, and the imagistic vistas of Fleet Foxes. While the subject matter may feel esoteric—“My unconscious named the tongue/Of the lights of closed eyes” goes a characteristic lyric—Izenberg and his band let the music drift pleasantly to earth. The melodies are romantic and warm, and the arrangements are invitingly expansive, making expert use of a new ensemble formed around the strongest songs of his career. Fitting for a record that collects Izenberg’s widest array of collaborators, he expanded his process further by enlisting veteran producer Phil Ek to mix the album. “In the past, I've had trouble handing off my work,” he admits, always preferring to handle things on his own. But knowing that Ek worked on some of the records that most inspired his own music—particularly Fleet Foxes’ 2017 album Crack-Up—helped to calm his nerves. The resulting sound is just as intimate as any of Izenberg’s more hermetic material, while casting a mystical, communal glow that feels brand new in his body of work.

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