Indie Rock Hit Parade Live Session: Great Grandpa - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

Joining us in the studio for this Indie Rock Hit Parade live session are Seattle’s “snack rock” pioneers, Great Grandpa. Formed in 2015, the group quickly gained acclaim upon the release of their debut album, Plastic Cough, in 2017. Earlier this year, the band’s second album, Four of Arrows, cemented their place as major players in their hometown’s musical renaissance. Not saddled by the city’s reputation in the late ’80s and early ’90s, Great Grandpa forge a sound that is layered and nuanced, with a few good screams thrown in for good measure. Usually performing as a quintet, a four piece version of Great Grandpa visited our studios to showcase the new songs.

Many of Great Grandpa’s most captivating musical moments are derived from the interplay between bassist Al Menne and guitarist Pat Goodwin. With Menne supplying multi-octave-scraping vocals and Goodwin’s rich songwriting (often in collaboration with bandmate Carrie Goodwin), the material on Four of Arrows take flight quickly and soars throughout. Along with guitarist Dylan Hanwright and drummer Cam Laflam, the band sought out producer Mike Vernon Davis to guide the new record, specifically based on his work with early IRHP guests (and fellow Seattleites) Special Explosion.

Our session begins with the album’s lead single, “Mono no Aware.” Taking its refrain from a Japanese concept of empathy toward all things, the song is one of my favorites of the year and watching this performance was simply spellbinding. Next is “Dark Green Water,” where Menne’s vocals are pushed to the brink over a monumentally loud-quiet-loud arrangement. The showstopping “Digger” comes next; its languid verses punctuated by fierce guitar stabs and a cathartic chorus. Finally, there’s the restless and delicate “English Garden.” Though it’s relatively compact compared to the other songs in the set, it offers intricate flourishes from each of the band’s members.

Listen to Great Grandpa’s Indie Rock Hit Parade session below, watch videos of the band performing “Mono no Aware” and “Dark Green Water,” and check out some of Jamie Stow’s photos from the studio.

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