The Grandville trio was spotlighted for this week’s Local Spins on WYCE radio show, which also debuted tracks by Edison Kitt, Rick Chyme, Colt Snuffer and other Michigan artists.
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After choosing the droll title of “Bear With Us” for their 2019 garage-rock EP, Grandville’s Feeding Grizzlies sought something more apropos for a full-length album that exemplifies a step forward for the alt-rock trio.
“Most of the songs include metaphorical themes of water and renewal, which made ‘The Wash’ a pretty fitting title,” suggested lead singer and guitarist Grant VanderKallen.
“These topics vary from washing away ex-relationships, self-expectations, anxiety and other past mistakes.”
With a wider stylistic swath of songs written over the past five years, “The Wash” also embodies a more deliberate plan of attack, said bassist Tom Quist.
“I think really what we wanted to get out with this first album is really trying to put our first polished finish on something. With ‘The Wash,’ we really tried to take a more hands-on approach, you know, shaping the album from the ground up.”
The 12-song collection released in late August leaned on the talents of several West Michigan musicians, including Anonymous Phone Call’s Jack Emaus, who recorded, mixed and mastered the project, Chaseton Cain, Ben DeWitt and Matt Burdick, who provided backing vocals, and synth player Kyle Kuhn.
For this week’s edition of Local Spins on WYCE, the band spotlighted the album’s tracks “Storm’s Coming” and “Little Thief.” Scroll down to listen to the songs, the full interview and radio show.
A ‘SIGNATURE ROCK SOUND’ WITH MORE MUSICAL VARIETY ON ‘THE WASH’
VanderKallen, Quist and drummer Jackson Ritter formed the band while students at Grandville High School, producing an eclectic rock sound influenced by the likes of The White Stripes, The Black Keys, Arctic Monkeys, Cage the Elephant, Buddy Holly and Gary Clark Jr.
“While there is certainly some of our signature rock sound (on ‘The Wash’),” said VanderKallen, “we wanted to provide enough musical variety that keeps you engaged throughout the whole album.”
Assembling “The Wash” amid the pandemic shutdown over the past year-and-a-half made for a “crazyland” situation, said Quist, so band members are pleased to finally get the album into the hands – and ears – of fans.
The band also hopes to get back into the studio this fall or winter.
Feeding Grizzlies plays The Pyramid Scheme in Grand Rapids on Oct. 8, with Pretoria, The Doozers and Secret Forte also on the bill. Tickets are $12 in advance and available online here.
“It feels great,” VanderKallen said of getting back on stage. “I don’t think there’s anything quite like it.”
The Sept. 10 edition of Local Spins on WYCE – which spotlights Michigan-made music at 11 a.m. Fridays on WYCE (88.1 FM) and online at wyce.org – also aired new music by Edison Kitt, Rick Chyme & Yelnam Evad, Pretoria (this week’s musicians’ pick by Feeding Grizzlies), EPCYA, Peace to Mateo, Colt Snuffer & The Dead Horsemen, Seth Bernard, Steve Leaf, Jack Droppers & The Best Intentions, Nathan Walton & The Remedy and Michigan Rattlers. Listen to the radio show here.
PODCAST: Local Spins on WYCE (9/10/21)
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