The Grand Archives

March 8, 2008

Mat Brooke, former member of Band Of Horses, is one of the founders of Seattle based indie pop band the Grand Archives, which has released its earnest and charming self-titled debut, following a self-released CD-R. The self-professed reference points are late 60’s pop, specifically the Beach Boys and the Bee Gees, as well as the Turtles and the Mamas and the Papas, all reflected in both the music and the harmonies and big choruses featured here. There’s also some serious whistling going on. It’s all lovingly done, with enough of its own personality that you don’t feel like you’re listening to an anonymous “sounds-like” compilation: They throw in a well placed steel guitar in “A Setting Sun,” for example, and combine harmonica and banjo with some reggae on the short instrumental, “Breezy No Breezy.” The Grand Archives are stylists, but are savvy and smart enough to have mastered the styles they are emulating to the point where they can put their own spin on them, which I think is the key to their success here. Plus they just sound like they’re having a good time, which is definitely an infectious feeling. Standout cuts: “Torn Blue Foam Couch,” “George Kaminski,” “Sleepdriving” and “The Crime Window.”


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