This week's podcast profiles Grand Lake, an Oakland quartet whose debut release Nevermint has generated much excitement for their engaging, stripped-down indie rock. The band's led by bassist-singer Caleb Nichols (formerly of Port O'Brien), who reunited with longtime friend and Bloody Heads bandmate Jameson Swanagon (guitar) to record some songs and recruited Erika Pipkin (vocals/keys) and Ryan Parks (recently replaced by John Pomeroy on drums) for the project. For a group that developed in the studio, it's a little surprising to see how strong the band's innate chemistry is on both stage and record.
Nevermint is a diverse album, the sound of a band defining itself in part by establishing its boundaries. It can be anthemic and urgent ("Concrete Blonde on Blonde" and "She's A Hater") or pensive and introspective ("Nevermint" and "Blue Hoodie"), and there's an excitement to watching the band grow and change over the course of the release. Regardless of the mood, though, certain elements are constant throughout -- most notably the band's mastery of building engaging melodies and dynamic shifts from minimalist layers. Most promising, the group's new cassingle -- out this month -- features two great new songs that show them further exploring these songwriting weapons. With a commitment to touring and further recording in the near future, keep watch for big things from Grand Lake.
We sat down with Caleb, Jameson and Erika at The Bay Bridged Studio recently to discuss the band's formation, Nevermint, and their upcoming releases. We've included four Grand Lake songs in the episode, including tracks from both the debut record and their new cassingle Sandusky Sunset.
Thursday, June 11th
with Beatbeat Whisper and The Heated (The Deli SF Presents)
Grand Lake has a number of upcoming shows this summer. Visit their MySpace page for all the dates.