Sometimes a record can just get you right there, and sometimes you aren’t actually exactly sure why: a melody and an accompaniment that taps into some hitherto buried emotion, so much so that you can find yourself suddenly wiping away a tear, or wistfully recalling hurt of the past. Grawl!x‘s glorious ‘Run Forever’ is one such track, a haunting slice of evocative balladry that’s decorated with a poignant arching melodic, that’s lifted aloft upon a bed of cooing sighs, twitching bleeps and feathered piano notes. Grasping your hand on a cold evening and walking that fine line between the tremble of Eliot Smith the twinkling midnight melancholia of Ooberman and the undulating instrumental motifs and bittersweet vocals of Moonface the slow burning hit of last year. Utterly exquisite.
Grawl!x (pronounced ‘Graw-lix’) is the project of one man – James Machin – and this is his first album. ‘Good Grief’ is a blend of wonderfully understated shimmery pop and haunting melancholy for fans of Panda Bear, Bon Iver and Julianna Barwick.
Hailing from Derby, James has a history in shoegaze (until their demise earlier this year he was the front man of Huw Stephens favourites My Psychoanalyst) and, whilst you wouldn’t find ‘Good Grief’ behind My Bloody Valentine in your local record shop, it still lends itself to dream pop sensibilities – blurred guitars, bewildering vocals, lush melodies powering sweetened soundscapes.
Since the first live outing for Grawl!x in early 2014 James has constructed a five-piece live outfit and will be playing a string of album launch shows, featuring three shows in some of the UK’s most stunning church venues.
Grawl!x released an album track entitled “Atlas Bear” on February 2nd. The album ‘Good Grief’ follows on Valentines Day (February 14th), released digitally and on heavyweight vinyl by Time Travel Opportunists. The album can be pre-ordered now at grawlix.bandcamp.com