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Golden Age

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Album Review

Grandchildren's 2013 sophomore album, Golden Age, is a swirling, melodic, and often hypnotic album that finds the Philadelphia band bleeding its Technicolor mix of electronic and folk-inflected music all across the pop spectrum. Still centered around the lead vocal of singer/songwriter Aleks Martray, Grandchildren are a six-member indie rock orchestra that arranges Martray's songs using a soup-like blend of acoustic and electric guitars, synthesizers, percussion, strings, and sundry other electronic sounds. On their 2010 debut, Everlasting, Grandchildren seemed to rely more heavily on electronic samples and beats. Whether they've cut back on the samples, or simply grown more adept at integrating those found sounds into their arrangements, Golden Age sounds more organic, tactile, and human. While there are certainly electronic aspects to the tracks here, this newfound analog vibe results in a warmer, more enveloping feel throughout. Songs like "Sunrise," "End Times," and "You Never Know" showcase Martray's high-pitched nasal croon afloat in sweeping waves of baroque keyboard swells, frenetic guitar lines, and ringing group harmonies. In that sense, they bring to mind older bands like the Flaming Lips and Animal Collective as well as more contemporary acts like MGMT and Norway's Young Dreams. Even at their most psychedelic on Golden Age, Grandchildren remain a memorably melodic, utterly listenable band.

Biography

Genre: Alternative

Years Active:

Formed in Philadelphia in 2008, melodic pop ensemble Grandchildren combine '60s psychedelia with modern electronica. Originally just the solo project of singer/songwriter Aleks Martray, Grandchildren eventually grew into a larger ensemble featuring a bevy of acoustic, electric, and electronic musicians. They released their debut album, Everlasting, in 2010. In 2013, Grandchildren returned with their sophomore album, Golden Age, which featured the multi-instrumentalist lineup of Martray, Russell Brodie,...
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Golden Age, Grandchildren
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