BEST TRACKS: Dark Green Water, Rosalie, English Garden, Treat Jar
Recommended if you like: Strange Ranger, Diet Cig, Fleet Foxes, Speedy Ortiz
A lot can change in a just a couple years. Over the past two years, 5-piece indie rock outfit Great Grandpa, who had previously all lived, toured, and made music together, were split 2,000 miles apart when two of the members moved from Seattle to Milwaukee. This drastic change in their lives seeped through to the band’s music as well. If you listened to Great Grandpa in 2017 and now, you might almost think that you were listening to two different bands. With the release of Four of Arrows, Great Grandpa officially marks their movement past the grunge sound of their slightly younger, Plastic Cough days in favor of a more elegant, folksy sound.
In the third track, English Garden, Abby Gunderson goes above and beyond with her blooming violin, which Pat Goodwin’s banjo dances around romantically in an elegant song, flush with hopefulness. Lead singer Alex Menne does this thing where she beaks her voice switching from a chest to upper register. Menne and Goodwin’s voices sound like they were born to blend together flawlessly like fresh snowflakes dissolving in the palm of your hand.
In Four of Arrows, grunge is tossed aside to make room for cinematic flourishes and soft, fairytale melodies. This album is country-tinged and delicate, but far from dull. Intensity seeps through in the raw and emotional delivery of the lyrics, which is, in my opinion, easily the most impressive element of this album and of this band in general.
Four of Arrows is representative of new beginnings and joy. Even its darker moments, this album can’t hide the pride and love that Great Grandpa has for this album. In this album, they’ve achieved the sound they’ve always wanted.
If you used to listen to Taylor Swift in 2008, and deeply resonated with Katniss Everdeen when you watched Hunger Games, this album is perfect for you.