Friday, 2 March 2012

Review: The Grenaders

The Grenaders - Between You And Summer (One Microphone)
The Grenaders is Mike Cretella, a young D.I.Y. artist from Baltimore with two previous albums under his belt. I don’t know much about him. Biographical information is sketchy, though from information gleaned from his CD Baby and Facebook pages, he’s got serious health issues, though they’re not particularly dwelled upon on “Between You And Summer” and instead, he takes the opportunity to explore themes of love and life.

There’s a freshness to his vocal, which may just be down to his age, but when combined with his slightly dry east-coast tone and predominantly keyboard based style, it brings to mind the early recordings of Stephin Merritt’s Magnetic Fields. I’m not sure exactly what sort of equipment Cretella is using, he may be simply sitting at a Mac, but there’s an undeniable suggestion of analogue to much of his playing.

Lyrically he takes us on lots of different journeys and excursions, from the train metaphors on the crunching “Tomorrow”, the sprightly, confident “Streets in My Head”, to the realization that “love changes everything” on “Living the Life”. Of course, it’s not all sunshine and flowers, as the melancholic “Swan Song” indicates, but generally there’s an intimation of optimism and hope running throughout the collection.
Rob F.

The Grenaders: Between You and Summer

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