Grand Archives – The Grand Archives

Grand Archives beginning sounds like something out of most indie rock bands’ dreams: the five-piece self-released a five-song demo and played one show (one!) before Sub Pop Records snatched them up with a record contract. Sub Pop, whose roster is consistently amazing, may seem crazy to do such a thing, but they had also signed The Postal Service and Iron & Wine before either outfit had played live. Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse heard Grand Archives and asked them to open for his band at the Paramount in Seattle. With such a fairytale beginning, Grand Archives has received a bit of backlash, but their full-length debut, The Grand Archives, out Tuesday, February 19th should put the haters in their place.

Grand Archives consists of music veterans singer/guitarist Mat Brooke (Band of Horses, Carissa’s Wierd), drummer Curtis Hall (The Jeunes), bassist Jeff Montano (The New Mexicans), guitarist/keyboard player Ron Lewis (Ghost Stories) and guitarist Thomas Wright. The quintet had the idea of making ambitious, high-spirited pop music rather than the mopey BS that’s overplayed across the nation.

The Grand Archives begins with mellow beats in the musically upbeat “Torn Blue Foam Couch,” which features a saxophone and trombone. “Minature Birds” follows with an intro of whistling that leads into a bouncy beat, a brass section featuring a French horn, trumpet, trombone and flugelhorn, and a and a carefree 70s California pop sound that doesn’t allow one to resist the urge of shaking one’s head along. The disc then mellows out while retaining its infectious optimism. “Breezy No Breezy” combines the album’s rock, jazz and dub reggae sounds into a beautifully interesting instrumental track that was written and recorded in just an hour on the band’s last day of recording, according to Brooke.

Grand Archives honestly don’t believe they are Seattle’s “next best thing,” and if they truly aren’t, they run a very close second. I’ve had The Grand Archives in heavy rotation and last night I unwittingly got a friend hooked when I had the disc playing in my car. I expect this album to appear on many 2008 Favorites lists come the end of the year.

Look for Grand Archives’ The Grand Archives in stores February 19, 2008 on Sub Pop Records.

Grand Archives website | myspace
Sub Pop website | myspace

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