Mandatory Music: Grizfolk Keep Spirits High on Chuggable New Self-Titled Album

While most of us watched in horror and despondently holed up as the world got sidelined by a gnarly pandemic, Grizfolk managed to write and record a dazzling, high-spirited new album. Recording all their parts separately due to travel restrictions, the indie alt-rock foursome seamlessly blended the shimmery pop vibes of LA with some Nashville dirt to concoct a chuggable collection of songs full of road trip optimism.

If the ten songs featured on Grizfolk have one thing in common, it’s a certain amount of polish. Despite running the gamut from twangy moonlit serenades to fuzz-laden city sprints, every song feels huge, with less focus on the transients and more on the raw, smacking power of pop. The sonic glow, along with the song arrangement and lyrics get straight to the point in 31 high-octane minutes.

‘Fumes’ kicks off the album with a mid-tempo of sighing synths and verbed-out guitars anchored by thick kicks and heavy piano. It’s a standout track and as indie-infused as 2014’s breakout hit ‘The Struggle’. Though the song deals with a relationship on the rocks, you can’t help but wonder if the refrain “Can’t carry the weight no more,” is speaking to what we’re all feeling right now.

The next track, ‘Be My Yoko’, is an unapologetic lovesong, belying the rough edges on the album to come with its bubble gum sweetness and proclamations of “this love is so insane they can’t understand.” Sure, The Barenaked Ladies did a similar gag back in the ’90s, but it didn’t have the sonic candy this track brings.

Things kick into overdrive on ‘California High’, a Black Keys-esque guitar riff that unexpectedly breaks into half-time by song’s end. The album ultimately settles into a desert landscape, but before the countrified air takes over, the band goes supersonic with ‘Now That I Know’, a relentless fuzz-banger, equal parts Phoenix and Haim. In a constellation of brightly lit tracks, it’s the undeniable shooting star.

Through and through, Adam Roth’s vocals have rarely sounded better, clocking in as both powerful and vulnerable as he belts hook after hook. While their last album, 2019’s Rarest of Birds saw the band toying with a more organic, stripped-down sound, Grizfolk returns to the realm of the anthem full stop. A giddy manifestation of a world on the verge of filling packed stadiums once again to chant giant choruses in rapt unison – perhaps this time with a little band called Grizfolk.

Until then, scope out the entire album here while daydreaming of better days to come:

Cover Photo: Grizfolk

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