This post was originally published in March of 2018.
Grizfolk is going on tour today.
- February 8, Raleigh, NC Lincoln Theater
- February 9, Atlanta, GA Buckhead
- February 10, Charlotte, NC The Underground
- February 12, Ft. Lauderdale, FL Revolution
- February 13, Orlando, FL House of Blues
- February 16, Dallas, TX House of Blues
- February 17, Austin, TX Emo's
- February 18, Houston, TX House of Blues
- February 20, Memphis, TN New Daisy Theater
- February 21, Nashville, TN Cannery Ballroom
- February 22, Asheville, NC Orange Peel
Disclosure: Brendan James is an acquaintance of mine from my Los Angeles days.
I'm not going to talk too much about the lyrics, I think they are intentionally limited as a conscious choice to stay on the tip between teenage angst and young adulthood. But there are a few redeeming lines:
“Darlin’ are you with me?
I hear you crying but there’s no tears
Feel we’re riding in the backseat
Nobody wants to take the wheel”— Grizfolk
Something about the sound here feels like High School prom in the best possible way. Like you go to some high fallutin' private school on the jagged PNW coastline where everyone's beard is perfect and there's a shortage of chauffeurs and they fly in 5 hot college dudes to woo the graduates with their songs of poetic rebellion that really amount to staying out past curfew and maybe smoking a few cigarettes.
“Grizfolk is as safe as candy for all age groups.”— CHILLFILTR
The production is exactly what you would expect from an LA-based outfit - you hear some The Killers, some Farfisa, some new age shuffle, the frame drum, the acoustic guitar, the piano single notes and oh god the reverb; there is a calculus of affect now for emerging roots artists that feels like the new normal. Soon enough everything is just going to sound like the intro to Game of Thrones. Ah well, so much for the law of sparsity.
There is a warmth and a safety here for some to savor. The sound of flannel and heartbreak and Miller Lite abounds; and for any event where a young something is bound to get naught but a fleeting glance at the heartthrob of her life, these songs and others like it are a fine consolation prize for being maybe just a little bit normal.
I'll just be listening to James Vincent McMorrow a little bit more first, you know before I let go.