Title - 'In A Vigil State'
Artist - The Grand Undoing
For those not in the know, The Grand Undoing is a rotating collective of like-minded players anchored by founder, lead vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Seth Goodman.
Their critically acclaimed 2016 release, Sparks Rain Down From The Lights Of Love, was a hard act to follow. Yet the band kept the groove going, and then some.
The brand new, and highly anticipated fourth album by the Boston-based The Grand Undoing, In A Vigil State (releasing August 14th, 2020 via Secret Candy Rock Records) boasts 10 songs that delve into the changing seasons of life, and the dichotomy of being both very small yet of the infinite.
Indeed, Goodman deconstructs and reconstructs his way into a sonic space that’s beyond the past, present and future. He grabs you right away with inventive arrangements and delights you by infusing each with sonic surprises, then weaves it all together with a dazzling studio sheen.
1. 'Into The Glitter' (5:18)
2. 'A Little Piece Of Ground' (2:36)
3. 'Highway (You Can Ride Away)' (4:32)
4. 'Wave' (4:38)
5. 'See All I See' (3:04)
6. 'Darkness' (4:03)
7. 'Sunsetter' (4:40)
8. 'Silver Songs' (3:18)
9. 'Step In' (3:14)
10. 'Giving All My Things Away' (4:35)
Formulated from an intentional decision not to repeat himself, Goodman's conscious effort to broaden his musical horizons and not fall back into comfortable, all-too familiar ground, is showcased to perfection here on In A Vigil State.
From the opening track, the breezy, yet darkly upbeat 'Into the Glitter,' you know you have an album of great meaning, of earnest depth, of true, unadulterated resonance coming out of your speakers, for it veritably oozes a magnificent, profound, retro pop swagger, that has been missing from all "music" made in the past 30+ years.
"Ride out the summer on a crystal chandelier
One more for the road and the reasons
that we're even standing here
Bang bang the essence of the frozen heart's brigade
they left the stage when the lights went down
I'm wishing they were still around But I’m afraid they've ascended somehow
into the glitter,
forever, in the sky
while we're sitting here broken, in the mire, looking high"
I mean, come on now, who even lyrically thinks like this any more?! I could go on in much the same gushingly poetic vein about each track, but suffice to say that In A Vigil State, chock full of complex background vocal arrangements, and at times featuring a heavy, but never overwhelming use of the Mellotron, and which noticeably contains a far more involved production aesthetic than prior endeavors, is, quite easily, my favorite album of 2020.
For me, although I'm sure you all will have your own personal favorites, other stand outs here are 'A Little Piece Of Ground,' a song about trying to find meaning and peace amidst an unending cycle of making progress and then being thwarted, the pure power pop ambiance of 'Wave,' and 'Darkness, a track about the inevitability of death, and the grief, helplessness, and ultimate beauty that typically accompanies it, all come together to help form what could well be the most musically and lyrically satisfying album of recent times.
A labyrinth of creatively mixed tracks, all themselves embracing the ethos of prog, psychedelia, alt-punk, and pop rock, the new album brings forth an abundance of catchy hooks and driving beats, and will, without a shadow of a doubt, have you replaying it over and over.
Current Line-Up: Any Plaisted (drums), Dave Westner (bass, keys and percussion), Tom Henneberry (guitars), Chris Coughlin (keys), Ted Powers (back up singer), and BJ Cole, Dana Colley and Chris Nole.
The Grand Undoing @ Facebook