The Grants – beautiful and unsigned

Chill-out rock: not a term you hear often, and not a genre ever recognised.  But it’s by far the simplest way I can find to describe the elegant melodies of The Grants, about the best new band I’ve heard this year.

Hailing from Liverpool, the fourpiece produce aching, earnest epics that flicker like musical paraffin lamps.  Forlorn bass sounds and tissue-soft drums cosy around the thrillingly tender guitar notes and Chris Grant’s gorgeous vocals – sometimes rich and wholesome, sometimes timid, echoey and ethereal.  Subjects coverered include  gangs and violence (on Our Story), yet the style is ever lyrical, and graceful.  Not for nothing did Alan McGree label Grant’s songwriting “something akin to Nick Drake writing songs on a council estate”.  With lines like “I don’t accept that / Refuse to accept that”, and the prolonged sense of self-doubt and righteousness, it’s also something like Dickens meets Arthur Lee.

grants

Sonically, the closest forbears are perhaps Echo & The Bunnymen and Glasvegas, as McGee notes, or perhaps The Verve.  But The Grants have a much more haunting, languid tone than those acts, able to bring a serene peace to any room.  McGee’s projection of fame, first in March 2008 and later at the start of this year, haven’t materialised for some reason.  But his backing of the wrong horse is our gain, with The Grants still cheap to see whenever they play London.  This is one time where (musical) beauty doesn’t come at a cost.

MP3: The Grants – Our Story (zSHARE)
MP3: The Grants – The Rules (zSHARE)

The Grants on MySpace 

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~ by ripamel on 08/10/2009.

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