Premiere: Grubby Sweetheart's 'goodbye, again'
Artwork by: Jack Swain
Local Seattle band Grubby Sweetheart debuts their album "goodbye, again." The record's throwback indie tone and lovable lyrics are yet another memorable example of Seattle's indie scene.
Grubby Sweetheart recorded goodbye, again in classic DIY fashion. Moving between a home studio basement and a recording studio, surrounded by friends and feeding off the energies of local creatives. Audio Engineer Peyton Levin sprinkled his magic throughout the album, including having a hand in mixing and mastering the album. Once you turn goodbye, again on you hear that true blue grit in the recording. It’s not grainy, it’s not obvious, but it has a sense of familiarity to it. Like listening to your favorite vinyl record - its crisp and feels like home.
All the songs on goodbye, again were melded together from Grubby Sweetheart’s entire discography. Reconfiguring fan favorites over the last year and creating new tracks make up the independently fresh sounding goodbye, again. The record starts off with the song,"bug boy;" it’s a short-quipped story setting the stage for the album. Dual parts sad anthem and sing along, it’s three part change up is reminiscent of house show basement choruses and long summer nights. Immediately pulling the listener into a tunnel of familiarity, I can almost smell the Rainer from underneath my sticky shoes. Everyone’s felt like a "bug boy" small, unheard yet remarkably beautiful in a unique fashion. It may feel like no one is admiring you, sometimes always. But there they are, towering above you gawking. It’s those moments that push us to look for the answers we need to hear and Grubby Sweetheart leads us to those roads.
Taking a moment to come up for air, guitarists Austin Weale and Darian Woller pick up where "bug boy" left off on "Sapporo Sanchez." Their puzzle piece chord progression mimics feelings of courage and doubt. Those dueling thoughts, instead of getting lost in the verse- bridge, serve as a callout to those who need to take a leap. Grubby Sweetheart yearns for you to go for it, as they howl "Sapporo Sanchez!" in the foreground.
A taste of bass is the driving force in "Susan" and that’s thanks to Kyle Peterson. His technical lead gives "Susan" this bittersweet tenderness. You're not looking for a verse when you're listening to "Susan," instead you find yourself swimming in the production never asking for air. It’s like your ears are the only floatation device around...the sensation of drowning is there but your trust in "Susan" is what keeps you breathing.
"Plastic Room" has a very familiar sound to it, maybe it’s the young Death Cab for Cutie vibe with the guitar taking over the start or maybe it’s the myspace emo kid in all of us who loves a track that takes us to a place that’s consumed with over-thinking. It has all the quintessential makings of that one song you put on repeat; it has a memorable verse, and pushes you into a place where things feel comfortable for once. Grubby Sweetheart take their listeners on a cradled junket. This place is safe but you still can’t help but sway with the ocean of sound that carries you into each track.
Falling into Grubby Sweetheart’s track "Boba" is just what they planned. Picking up the pace just a tad to fill the urgency of letting go. But you can't slip too deep, the drumming from Eric Underwood keeps you alert enough to carefully listen to their lyrics, “you see my teeth you hear the story” is one of the many statements they make that open your eyes to softly hummed tunes.
The entirety of goodbye, again bursts at the seams with the sense of DIY camaraderie. You hear the roars of crowds singing along on tracks like, "Bentley Plays," "Plastic Room" and "Boba." Your heart sinks with the lullabies of "OK" and "Pond." It’s almost as if you are living and breathing in this community within the album. Crunches of aluminum cans and remnants of cigarette butts become personified in the crescendos and falls of the album. It's those sacred moments in basements that create lasting memories for music fans, and Grubby Sweethearts ability to tap into that sensation is what makes goodbye, again a standout.