One of the albums on my radar, is the forthcoming South Somewhere Else LP from Nana Grizol, and it seems like the album’s title track kind of slipped by me. On first listen, the song is really all about Theo Hilton’s steady vocal delivery; his voice seems to march in step with the chugging of the guitar lines with thematic references to the narrative of growing up in the South and finding your own footing. For me, however, I’m a sucker for arrangements, even the most obvious ones. Here, you get a fuzzy distorted guitar solo and blossoming horn arrangements fleshing things out; it’s like this joyous burst building buoyancy into fabric of the tune. The new LP will be out on June 19th via Arrowhawk Records/Don Giovanni.
There’s something about Athens, Georgia that breeds these incredible bands that go overlooked for far too long. Sure, there’s that one label everyone loves to bring up…and its truly great, but I’m thinking about acts like the Glands…or perhaps Nana Grizol. I stumbled into picking up a copy of Ruth way way back, but totally fell in love with Ursa Minor. It sounded a lot like Beulah, particularly the inclusion of the horn work; still, there was this punk rock attitude in there too, which of course I gravitated towards. It’s really nice to hear that come through in a huge way too on this latest single from their forthcoming LP; there’s an earnestness that will always makes me want to punch-dance across my living room while wearing the hugest shit-eating grin. South Somewhere Else is out on Arrowhawk/Don Giovanni on June 19th.
Back in 2017 Nana Grizol released the incredible Ursa Minor; it was one of my favorite releases that year, and one with staying power in my rotation. But, just this last week, the band put up some early recorded tracks from the group, some that made it onto later releases, and some not. I’ve been listening to these tracks pretty non-stop all evening with my daughter; it has this oddball charm that reminds me of my college years when I was looking for anything that could make me dance or laugh out loud. Seriously, this is how you should spend your morning, visiting Theo and his guitar in the early days of the band; you can grab Theo Zumm right HERE.
It’s that silly time of year when we ascribe arbitrary rankings to the music created by our favorite artists. And, I’ve already seen a few lists from the likes of Paste or Rolling Stone (among others) that I find completely off the mark. Now, our ATH End of Year list will be a team effort, so here is a list of records I adored that probably won’t end up on too many other “Best of Lists,” though I think they should! Again, no particular order, just ten albums you should enjoy. …that you might have forgotten about.
I’m in love with Nana Grizol‘s latest album; there’s an underlying earnestness that carries the album on, joined by clever lyricism that might go overlooked by the masses. But, those of you longing for the purity of indie rock that gave birth to blogs in the early 00s will surely find the band’s work, such as this number, intoxicating. There’s no bells and whistles (though there are some horns), but rather a simplistic approach built around songwriting and innate accessibility for every listener. I’m already saving a spot for Ursa Minor in my year end list, and you’ll do the same if you’re looking to get carried away in music once again; album out now via Orange Twin.
Those of you that press play on the video below will immediately understand why I’m so in love with the latest from Nana Grizol. Something in the songwriting recalls the purity of our forefathers from 90s college rock, like Malkmus. But, with that in mind, there’s clearly more of a message in the lyrical content, as Theo Hilton finally has found a voice for his storytelling. Heavy-hitters from Athens helped Hilton flesh out the songs you’ll hear on Ursa Minor, such as the beautiful burst of horns in this tune. Look for the release on March 31st via Orange Twin.