by the partae
Grapell - Heartbreak (acoustic version)    Grapell - 'No Longer Free' (Acoustic)
“Heartbreaker”                                                     “No Longer Free”
In support of their debut album Crier, Grapell have released acoustic videos of two of the LP’s finest tracks, “Heartbreaker” and “No Longer Free.” The videos reveal the songs stripped-back, and inevitably, more emotional than ever.
“Heartbreaker” was premiered by Consequence of Sound who rave “Full of delicate, unabashed soul carried by rhythmic piano and covered in a coppery sheen that hits just before sundown. Simple sophistication comes to mind when describing their music…. It sounds like a song that could have been created at any point over the last 40 years making it timeless, yet refreshingly organic and nuanced in a time laptop producers get most of the attention.” My Old Kentucky describe their music writing “Simple sophistication comes to mind when describing their music and this track is no different. It sounds like song that could have been created at any point over the last 40 years making it timeless, yet refreshingly organic”.
The Swedish duo recently curated two playlists, providing context for their own music. The first was for Spotify, aptly titled “Ultimate Ballads.” The second was for Tidal, which the band introduced, saying “These are 10 perfect heartbreak songs. Heartbreak seems like a natural topic for us, considering the theme of our upcoming album, ‘Crier.’ Writing the perfect ballad is one of the hardest things to do, but the people who wrote these 10 songs did it. Because we’re from Sweden, it also felt like a requirement to include at least one song by Håkan Hellström – the Swedish master of heartbreak songs.”
With these swoon-worthy previews of the album and previous hits like internationally beloved “Arrow,” Grapell are contenders for the smoothest record of the year.
Grapell - Arrow
“seriously sexy soul” – Stereogum
“Emil Erstrand and Nils Nygårdh have twisted the component parts of their music into something entirely new” – Noisey
“Simple but sophisticated arrangements underpin romantic, soulful ballads …” – When You Motor Away
“Pop superstars in the making… Be careful, babymaking may result from exposure to this record – GOLD FLAKE PAINT
“It is raw, emotively powerful and absolutely breathtaking.” – THE REVUE
“Gossamer, fragrant approach to pop..has a rare sense of intimacy.” – CLASH
It’s not unusual for best friends to form bands, and Grapell co-founders Emil Erstrand and Nils Nygårdh have been friends and bandmates since they were teenagers. What is unusual, though, is for that chemistry to translate so wholly into a timeless sound, a style so fully-formed it feels borne from a lifetime of collaboration. The Swedish duo’s debut album Crier does just that, walking a perfect tightrope between simplicity and sophistication. Give it even a passive listen and the vivid sense of romance proves hard to ignore. Dig a little deeper though, and you find more of love’s complexity, the tug-o-war between a person’s head and his heart.
The road to Crier was a long one: Erstrand and Nygårdh formed their first band, Good Morning June, in high school. Describing it in hindsight as “five guys who couldn’t agree on anything” they moved on to form Grapell, which started as a multi-piece outfit before intimately paring down to the two friends working as a duo. They enlisted other talented cohorts as they needed to, but the songwriting and vision is now theirs alone. In 2016 the duo released the Love Chamber EP which included “Arrow” a track which set blogs and streaming services alight.
For their full length the duo decided to stick to what felt the most natural and recorded the album between their rehersal space and Emil’s house, the result is an album which is bold as it is smooth. Crier deals with themes of simplified love, romance and heartbreak, it’s arrangements are dynamic and bright, unique from song to song, but they also stick together perfectly to form a cohesive whole.
The recording process didn’t have it’s frustrations or set backs, deadlines passed and songs needed more time and attention but it wasn’t just what was happening in the studio that led to the delays. Erstrand explains how they managed to block out the noise “with a lot of things going on in the world, so much terrible stuff constantly taking up space in the papers, and also experiencing some horrors up close, it has sometimes been hard just focusing on songs about romantic love. But somewhere along the line it became really important to let yourself focus on only that. To create a little bubble where that remains being the most important thing. Even though totally different kinds of fears are lurking around the corner, threatening to make a couple of love songs seem pretty… meaningless or useless – in comparison to death, for example.”
Key tracks on the album include “No Longer Free”, the band’s homage to 70’s soul music and “On Our Side” explores the concept of truth and what role it plays in a relationship between two people. Another standout from the album is “Heartbreaker” which is perhaps the most pop heavy track on Crier shows the band at their best.
The songwriting on Crier is personal but Grapell don’t wear their hearts on their sleeves rather inviting the listener to make up their own minds and emotions as the songs wash over them. Erstrand tells us “If someone hears our music and feels something that’s great, the best complement is when someone says that they have cried to a song you’ve made.”
No Longer Free
We Can Only Blame Ourselves
Much Too Much
Torture By Recalling
On Our Sides
Your Silence
When The World Ends (I Want To Be With You)
Grapell | Crier | Roll Call Records
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