words by tom johnson
The new Great Grandpa record, Four Of Arrows, released at the end of October via Double Double Whammy and Big Scary Monsters, takes its name from a tarot card that symbolises rest; “a call to recharge and recovery”. Arriving a couple of years after the much-loved Plastic Cough LP, the new record finds the band in markedly different territory, the familial nature of their relationship around that previous record replaced by a spreading of wings, informed by the isolated nature of its songwriting and the power found in tying those strands back together. The Recharging, the recovery.
Where Plastic Cough felt like an often wild and erratic reflection of modernity, Four of Arrows offers something altogether weightier, reflecting upon themes of fall-out and forgiveness, of the mental health struggles that smother so many of us. The result is their boldest work yet, thick slabs of guitars conjuring up an atmosphere that sits as a moody backdrop for Alex Menne’s heady, enthralling lead vocal, which has never sounded more guttural; close to the very edge of breaking.
The record was introduced last month with lead track “Mono no Aware” (listen over at Stereogum), and it comes of age today with the unveiling here of brand new track “Digger” – a five-minute burst of splendour that might well be the band’s most captivating moment to-date. Coupled with a striking video that only enhances the songs sense of importance, “Digger” makes for a huge stride forward for the band – and you can check it out below right now.
Here’s what the band themselves have to say about the track:
“I used to have a dog who would get into this intense and almost manic trance when he would dig a hole in the yard. We called him Digger because he just became obsessed with these seemingly pointless pits. Something about his eyes in this state has lingered with and haunted me for years. It felt familiar, human even. Over the years Carrie and I began to liken it, even using the name, to describe ourselves when our mental health was spiraling or/and we were diving into the dangerous game of obsessive existential inquiry/patterns.
Written in the wake of a fateful Wildwood Tarot reading following months of creative drought, this song is, like the spaces it explores, messy and without much resolution — simultaneously a meditation on the process of creation, determinism vs agency and an ode to Philip K Dick’s “The Transmigration of Timothy Archer”, mental illness, and those in our lives who dug too far. It’s safest to never go out in the darkness,but perhaps we’ll miss something in the dark.”
Pre-order “Four of Arrows” here: http://smarturl.it/fourofarrows
It’s released on October 25th
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