Grand Archives / Keep in Mind Frankenstein - SP803
Grand Archives’ second full-length album, like much of its predecessor, was crafted at Paradise Sound in Index, WA with help from producer Ben Kersten (who also recorded The Grand Archives, the band’s 2008 debut). A few friends dropped by during recording. Brooke’s former Carissa’s Wierd cohorts, Jenn Ghetto and Sera Cahoone, sang backing vocals. The gorgeous streaks of pedal steel across the wistful sweep of “Oslo Novelist” come courtesy of Jason Kardong. For the most part, Grand Archives played everything. Especially the weird bits. It’s a little darker than the first record and opens with the bittersweet elegy “Topsy’s Revenge,” inspired by the infamous 1903 newsreel footage of Thomas Edison electrocuting a rogue Coney Island elephant. Songs like “Dig That Crazy Grave,” a buoyant ditty redolent of Southern California and summer afternoons, and the insistent, soaring Silver Among the Gold find their place here as well. It’s an album made up of disparate elements artfully fit together and brought to life with affecting results: Keep in Mind Frankenstein.
Released: September 15, 2009
Grand Archives / The Grand Archives - SP754
Seattle, WA is famous for many things. Sunlight is not one of them. Yet illumination and warmth suffuse the self-titled debut from Emerald City quintet Grand Archives. Dark times do not necessarily call for dark music. And, while singer/guitarist Mat Brooke’s previous ensembles – Band of Horses, Carissa’s Wierd — often shied away from light, he has changed direction with this band. To be clear, The Grand Archives is not escapist bullshit. But like the timeless classics of the Mamas & the Papas or the Turtles, it responds to the turbulent times of its genesis with hope, high spirits, and a sense of camaraderie. Brooke started Grand Archives with a trio of friends in September, 2006. Drummer Curtis Hall (the Jeunes), bassist Jeff Montano (the New Mexicans), and guitarist/keyboard player Ron Lewis (Ghost Stories) shared his desire to make great pop, rather than curse the darkness; guitarist Thomas Wright signed on soon after. At their first show, Grand Archives were bottom band on a mid-week bill. They played five songs. Next time they performed, it was supporting Modest Mouse at Seattle’s historic Paramount Theater. So much for baby steps. “We definitely dove in the deep end,” concedes Brooke. But their expectations are modest. Grand Archives want little more than to tour the world, occasionally crash in a motel with soft towels, and, most importantly, find receptive listeners for their music. A reasonable goal. And it will be met. Vitamin D supplements, tanning beds, and Caribbean vacations only provide temporary solutions; the radiance of The Grand Archives glows brightly year-round.
Grand Archives – Band of the Day on Spin.com
Grand Archives – ‘Rising’ on Pitchfork
Grand Archives – Pitchfork news piece
Grand Archives – Seattle Times feature
Grand Archives – Metroblogging live review/love letter
KEXP blog review of the Grand Archives record release show with S and Sera Cahoone!
Drowned in Sound review of The Grand Archives
Paper Thin Walls review of Torn Blue Foam Couch
Attention! As we have mentioned from time to time here on the Sub Pop web thingy, most of the LPs that we put out come with an enclosed coupon enabling you to download all of the album’s songs as mp3s FOR FREE. The vinyl format for The Grand Archives, for example, includes one of these very coupons.
Released: February 19, 2008