“Rock and roll is sort of my consolation prize for wanting to have been a writer,” says James Alex. His new project Quiet Slang is a direct confrontation to the trembling walls of distortion that serve as Beach Slang’s raison d’etre. As the name implies, Alex is embracing minimalism, smothering the fuzz in favor of a cello, a piano, and his voice on the debut full length album Everything Matters But No One Is Listening, due out May 18 on Polyvinyl Record Co.

“If Beach Slang is me fawning over The Replacements,
Quiet Slang is me head-over-heels for Stephin Merritt.”

Lead album single “Dirty Cigarettes” was recently released, the video, directed by Jason Lester and featuring Laura Burhenn (Mynabirds) & Heather McIntosh (Elephant 6, of Montreal). Alex shares, “You can be born into damage, into being forgotten. That stuff sticks with you, you know? You sort of just swirl around, looking for something that makes you feel like you might matter. Sometimes you get lucky and that feeling shows up. Other times, it’s tougher. “Dirty Cigarettes” was filmed in an empty church reception hall the day after a wedding—a strange mix of love and loneliness. Something about that felt right. And for an afternoon, I felt like I could stop looking.”