Grander is one of the more exciting “indie” groups on our radar this fall. A self described collective of 8 or so like-minded musicians and creators, the band meshes influences from emo to post-rock to indie to hip hop into an exciting and multi-textured sonic output. Their latest single “?” (check out the visualizer streaming below) left us wanting more, and we’re stoked to explore their new EP “If Found, Cherish” when it goes live this Friday, October 22nd. In the meantime, we sat down with the band to discuss their Top 5 most influential albums. Dig in below, and make sure you follow the band to grab their new release later this week! For more from Grander, find them on Instagram, Facebook, and their official website.
1) 22, A Million – Bon Iver
You could argue that this is the most important album to the fabric of our group. Chase and Matt both have tattoos that feature artwork from this record. The three of us saw Bon Iver for the first time together on this tour, with a set that has now been immortalized, thanks to the NPR Front Row concert on YouTube. We had been fans of Bon Iver before this record, but 22, A Million cemented the group as one of our favorites of all time. Whether it’s the unique approach to sampling and vocal processing, or the unconventional production techniques, or the densely layered horn sections, there is always something new to unpack in this album. It’s confrontational, but warm. It’s noisy, but embracing. It’s truly an artist operating at peak creativity.
2) Kid A – Radiohead
What more can be said about this album? We were too young to realize its impact upon initial release, but we still marvel at the fact that to this day, nothing else sounds like Kid A. Each of us found this album at different stages in life, yet its effect on us was pretty similar. It kind of forces you to unlearn what you thought about alternative music (or whatever you want to call the genre) and open your mind. Kid A challenges you, but it also does an oddly great job of inviting you in with familiar sounds. The nodes of jazz, electronica and ambient music are all woven in so well to the fabric of a band that had already established themselves as an alternative powerhouse. It’s a feat not many artist could pull of, and it’s an album that will remain a singular entity for a long time.
3) Faces – Mac Miller
We all grew up with Mac Miller’s music, as we are only a year younger than him. In high school, we were bumping to his backpack raps and in college we were growing as listeners along with his expanded sonic palette. Faces dropped right after we had finished our junior years of college, and the 24-song mixtape sound-tracked a lot of that summer for us, despite the heavy subject matter that Mac was addressing on the project. It really is his magnum opus – and showcases how great of a producer he was, in addition to his prowess as a songwriter and lyricist. It’s also fitting that Faces was just released on streaming services a few days ago – so if you haven’t heard it before, definitely dive in!
4) Freedom – Amen Dunes
Sometimes a record comes along that hits you in a way you didn’t expect it to. For us, that was Freedom by Amen Dunes. The songwriting and production on this album are top notch, with slow building tracks and vivid imagery in the lyrics. The song “Blue Rose” was a big inspiration for our track, “(?)” actually. We loved the way that song continues the momentum of a single motif, and the way that the auxiliary instrumentation propels that initial melody along. We also really appreciate when an album has high replay value. You can spin this one all day, and not get sick of it. It’s dense, yet it feels simple and soothing to ear too, which is something we try to channel in our music as well!
5) Everyday – Tourist
Electronic music is something that we’ve all been inspired by for years, but this project really spoke to us because of the way that it feels organic, despite being mostly made via software instruments and synths. That’s a special quality that we’re suckers for in electronic genres. For us, this record is peak perfection when it comes to instrumental/electronic pacing and progression. The way this album flows from start to finish, through hills and valleys, is an emotional ride that begs you to get right back in line and do it all over again. It scratches that itch you never knew needed scratching, which is something we strive to create in our musical pursuit. Giving you something you never knew you needed. Challenging your ears by hugging them with a blanket made from material you’ve never felt before. Bringing you through an emotion you’ve never consciously chosen to explore.