The So So Glos went on hiatus around the same time the beloved punk outfit shut down their Brooklyn D.I.Y. venue Shea Stadium, the latter being due to rising pressure from local authorities. A bummer on all fronts, but, during that time, singer Alex Zarou Levine stayed productive, piecing together his debut solo album as Alexander Orange Drink. Called Babel On, it arrives on September 28th via Kobalt/AWAL.
Levine, who was born with a metabolic disorder called Homocystinuria, derived his stage name from the slang term—”Orange Drink”—used for the medication he’s had to take since birth. The project’s compositions are said to be a melding of acoustic and electronic arrangements, and were produced by Levine alongside Titus Andronicus guitarist Alex Reich. Babel On, a press release notes, references the biblical Tower of Babel as it “evokes a culture lost in a twenty-four hour news cycle while a subversive narrator guides the listener through an interior dystopian landscape.” As such, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the album will pair political statements with stories of personal heartbreak.
Lead single “Normalize” maintains the intensity of Levine’s work with the So So Glos, but dials down the volume. His voice tight as a wire, Levine menacingly sings of a power outage, a gun, and a cellphone, his words most certainly evoking the aforementioned dystopia. Hear it below.
Babel On Artwork: