VIDEO: Alex Lahey is cracking the whip for her debut album

ON A ROLL: Alex Lahey is expanding her horizons in the UK supporting her childhood idols Tegan and Sara.ANYONE who has learnt to play guitar remembers the joy of finally making the strings produce the sound of a recognisable song. Like solving amagical puzzle.

The first songs indie songwriter Alex Lahey taught herself wereTegan andSara’s Nineteen and Call It Off from the Canadian duo’s 2007 album The Con.

It’s fitting that the same act which played a pivotal rolein Lahey’s earlymusical development, are also helpingthe 24-year-old Melbournian take hernext major step in the industry.

Lahey is in Englandon her first international tour supporting Tegan and Sara.

“It’s definitely the biggest opportunity given to me so far and I am so grateful to Tegan and Sara for it,” Lahey tells Weekender from her London motel room.“This is the first time I’ve ever toured overseas and to be doing it under the wing of two of the most respected artists in the world is truly humbling.”

It was actually Lahey’s deep respect for Tegan and Sara’s music thathelpedher land the support tour, which passes through venues like London’s Roundhouse and Manchester’s Albert Hall.

“When I was at SplendourI just went up to them and said, ‘thank you for giving me the songs that helped me develop into my own artist’,” she says.“To even have the opportunity to express my gratitude to them like that was such an honour.”

Alex Lahey – Wes AndersonThe hype surrounding Lahey has been building over the past year. Her debut EP B-Grade University and its singles Let’s Go Out and You Don’t Think You Like People Like Me are Triple J favourites andLahey’s melodic tunes and wittyobservational lyrics have led to comparisons with Courtney Barnett.

Expectations are high Lahey will deliver with herdebut album. The record is currently in production and is being produced by Holy Holy guitarist Oscar Dawson.

“The record is coming along swimmingly, thus far,” Lahey says.“We tracked the beds for seven of the songs on it last week before I flew to the UK, and will we keep working on those and some other songs I’ve written for the next couple of months until it’s all done and dusted. Making a first album is a very daunting, yet exciting task, and having someone like Oscar working on my first record with me makes it all the more special for me.”

Just like B-Grade University, Lahey’s album will cover a widerange oftopics. Everything from getting dumped toaccepting her brother’s friendship and telling off people for texting while driving.

Alex LaheyB-Grade Uni EP with any sort of plan for how it would turn out and I’m taking that attitude into this album too, in a way,” she says.“I think the record will show some development and potentially more cohesion in the arrangements of the songs, but at the end of the day, I only ever write about things that I’ve experienced personally, so that common thread will still be there.”

Following the overseas tour, Lahey is heading back to the Hunter for the Hard Grime festival at Maitland Gaol. On her last trip to Newcastle she played a wild free show at the Sydney Junction Hotel.

“The show was awesome, not only because of the energy in the room, but also because of the genuine gratitude from everyone who came along,” she says.“It just goes to show that touring isn’t just about hitting up capital cities.”

Catch Alex Lahey alongside The Gooch Palms, Luca Brasi and Nicole Millarat Hard Grime on March 4.