Following the 2017 release of Plastic Cough, Great Grandpa were a unit, they lived together, worked together, and toured tirelessly across the country. As tours ended and band members relocated across the US, they found themselves suddenly separated and eventually isolated. The time spent apart wasn’t planned, but it proved to be necessary. It was a chance to gain perspective into their lives, relationships, and creative purpose.
Thus enters Four of Arrows, a creative turn toward introspection and Great Grandpa’s collective result of rest and solitude. Undoubtedly, the 11 songs comprising Four of Arrows are a departure from the playful nods to pizza and zombies on Plastic Cough. The writing and recording process had evolved — less Seattle garage jams and more vulnerable solo songwriting sessions. Most of the songs on Four of Arrows were written in isolation by Patrick and Carrie Goodwin while traveling and living in the Midwest. Though written separately, the songs came to life when the band reunified and began recording with producer Mike Vernon Davis (Modest Mouse, Portugal. The Man) on New Year’s Day in 2019.
The songs weave through the pains of familial divisions, partnership, internal and external forgiveness, and the struggles of mental illness. Pat Goodwin describes “Digger” as the emotional pillar of the album. The lyrics allude to the titular tarot cards and set the scene for Four of Arrows — solitude and an exploration of the obsessive, neurotic and even paranoid existential questioning seen in ourselves and the characters in our lives. “Shouldn’t go out in the darkness” repeated over tranquil guitar, serves as the mantra of the song before it erupts into an evocative and tense outro.
Thankfully, Great Grandpa go headfirst into the darkness and escape from the other side with their most transparent and accomplished work to date. Though the content remains heavy, the bright poppy arrangements of “Mono No Aware” and “Bloom” serve as an unreliable light amongst the dark. “Mono No Aware” a wistful ode to loss of innocence, impermanence, and more explicitly “the pathos of things” combines starry synths and polished harmonies that when paired feel like floating. “Bloom,” the seemingly most hopeful track on the record, shines with conversational charm and demanding hooks (“When I think about Tom Petty, and how he wrote his best songs when he was 39”), before dramatically shedding the facade to reveal it's melancholic heart in a grandiose, Phil Specter-esque outro.
Leaving it to the cards, Great Grandpa used their time off to grow, and their time together to reunify. Their collaborative approach cultivated a musical backdrop for their shared emotions and Four of Arrows is a testament to themselves and their ability to adapt.
Great Grandpa share second single "Digger" and an accompanying video from their upcoming LP Four of Arrows, out October 25th. Deemed "a five-minute burst of splendour that might well be the band’s most captivating moment to-date" by Gold Flake Paint, "Digger" explores the internal state of unrest caused when one becomes consumed by unhealthy thought patterns.
"Covering an expansive sonic range that includes indie-folk, bombastic garage-rock, and serene chamber-pop, “Digger” is an enthralling ballad that hits stratospheric emotional heights."
— Impose Magazine
Upcoming Tour Dates:
10/4 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Regent Theatre w/ Vivian Girls
10/5 - Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory w/ Vivian Girls
10/6 - San Diego, CA @ The Observatory North Park w/ Vivian Girls
10/25 - San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel w/ Vivian Girls
10/26 - San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel w/ Vivian Girls
11/3 - Washington, DC @ Songbyrd w/ Dump Him, Merce Lemon
11/4 - Philadelphia, PA @ Everybody Hits w/ Dump Him, Merce Lemon
11/5 - Brooklyn, NY @ Elsewhere: Zone One w/ Dump Him, Trace Mountains
11/6 - Boston, MA @ ONCE Ballroom w/ Dump Him, Really From
11/16 - Seattle, WA @ Chop Suey (Album Release)
Find tickets on our tour page!
Great Grandpa have announced their second full-length album Four of Arrows. Listen to first single "Mono no Aware" and watch the accompanying lyric video! Four of Arrows is due October 25th and available for preorder below.