Grandáma – I Woke Up

I Woke Up

Grandáma’s music is a cup of hot soup, laced with codeine. The perfect soundtrack to a dreary overcast day, the band is uplifting in a subtle, almost lazy manner. “Shoegazer” labels are probably impossible to avoid with their thick dreamy sound and heavily strummed intro riffs. Allowing their tracks to reach their chorus reveals that the band is much more adept at songwriting and overlaying interesting melodies with contrasting layers of guitar than your typical MBV clone. Fairly well recorded, their latest songs have good separation of the rhythm and lead guitars as well as a nice thick bass to round out the sound. Drums are provided by a machine, and one wishes they would lay off the phase pedal a little bit at times, but otherwise this is an impressive debut.

“I Woke Up,” is drony headphone music with an insistent melancholy which brings to mind both Interpol or Spiritualized. The vocal track is painted over with a warm cloud of delay, and the rhythm guitars pump and churn without distinction. The lead guitar plucks out a melody that follows, precedes, and mirrors the vocals while threatening to dissolve back into the mix at any point. Rather than obviate the need for vocal melody, the guitar serves as a timbral counterpoint … a remote treble to the creamy omnipresence of the singing. In the chorus, the vocals are doubled, and the chord changes break up the relentless forward drive of the verse momentarily to revel (in a reserved way of course) in the hook. The lyrics match the atmosphere well, with references to falling back asleep and dreaming a complete world into existence. Rather than jarring awake, the singer (and the listener) is lulled back into a groggy (and a little druggy) state where dreams are perhaps better than reality.

The two songs that constitute their first limited CD single are available on their site. Judging from this material, if they get around to recording an LP, it has the potential to be one of the best releases of the year.