Last night, I had the exclusive opportunity to attend an ALDN concert where he performed his new EP, Post Spring Self-Destruction.
My friend and I made the short trek to the Troubadour venue, having absolutely no idea what to expect. I was aware that ALDN is a hyperpop musician from Virginia whose experimental work gained traction during quarantine. Other than that, I was a blank slate, completely open to the new experience. And you guessed it; we ended up having an absolute blast. It was so. Much. Fun.
From the second ALDN’s shadow appeared from the staircase down to the stage, the buzzing energy in the Troubadour was palpable. The audience screamed every lyric (which takes dedication given the album came out two days before!), and sometimes they even moshed (not quite my vibe, but I can appreciate the thrill of it).
I went with my friend, Hall, and although both of us were unfamiliar with many of the songs, the atmosphere made loving the music inevitable. Glitchy production met catchy but sad vocals. Lyrics were self-deprecating in an edgy but accessible way. The lighting design was also a huge factor in creating this environment; golden beams and white flashes accentuated otherwise darkness. ALDN said he programmed the lights himself, so major kudos to this multitalented artist!
What made the concert so memorable, though, was the unique personality that shone out of ALDN. He jumped around like a kid at a dance marathon, completely unconcerned about conserving energy or protecting his joints. And he was funny in an accidental way. Someone dropped a bottle, and it shattered, and he said in a slow but passionate voice, “There’s shattered glass? Be careful everyone! That’s so weird, there are no windows in here, I wonder how the glass got there.” And then five minutes later: “Ohhh, you know what? It probably wasn’t a window.” The glass got cleaned up, but my friend and I never recovered from how strangely funny we found that moment.
Looking back, I’d say that if The Smiths and electronic ambient music had a child, it would be ALDN. The self-produced beats, layered vocals and dark lyrics have been drawing an increasingly large audience, and rightfully so. Whether this sounds like your kind of music or not, I would give it a listen. You’ve got nothing to lose, and a new favorite artist to gain!