In Dreams [single] In
Dreams and Other Stories [album]
to Grantura and you slip back
in time. Not because their music isnt
cool, but because the beautiful strings
and easy harmonies of In Dreams is
evocative of running barefoot through a
summer meadow with wraithlike friends
in the grip of ecstasy...
WE'RE TALKING NATURE HERE and it runs all the way through
Grantura's beautiful album, In Dreams and Other Stories, with
sounds of the sea and forest breezes.
A six-piece band from South East London, Grantura plays echoes of the sort of
music you would have expected to hear at places like Woodstock: plenty of love,
plenty of sun and plenty of flowers. The sort of music that sets your soul free.
But once you've heard the lyrics you think again. In stark contrast to the breezy
melodies, they are thought-provoking and clearly born of painful experience.
Grantura, says the publicity machine, has skilfully mastered the art of splicing
opposed lyrical and melodic content.
Grantura's intricate musicianship is very much in evidence on the album In
Dreams and Other Stories: a beautiful and personal look at life, its political
values, relationships, chance meetings, debauchery (!) and late night story-telling.
Each track is a masterpiece in its own right very much in the tradition
of the folk and country styles that influence the band.
Grantura has also picked up some fantastic radio support including Single
of the Week on BBC 6 Music with first single Waves, released towards
the end of 2007. Not only this, but February's live session with Janice Long
on Radio 2 showcased them and their Alt-Rock-Americana sound with quite beautiful
performances of first single Waves and the forthcoming single, In
Now signed to Ruffa Lane, the label part owned by Lucky Soul was
totally enraptured by Grantura's sound. With a nod and a wink to Crosby Stills
Nash and Young, The Band, The Byrds, and Elliot Smith, the roots and influences
of the band are clearly Trans-Atlantic. The wonder is, says the publicity machine,
that Grantura writes and performs with and simply exudes an air
of 21st Century Britishness.
In Dreams is the title track from the forthcoming album In
Dreams and Other Stories and, for this limited edition 7-inch vinyl
and digital download release, it is joined by an exclusive B-side entitled The
Long Road. The Long Road is a smoother, less ruffled trip along
the highway to a tranquil spot where you can meditate at dusk.
the album, Land Of The Big Skies compares the emotional and personal
affects of being raised in the otherworldly lowlands of Lincolnshire to living
an adult life in the capital: "I was born in the country; now I hide in the
city". Debut single Waves tackles the more political point of staying
true to one's socialist roots: "The writing's up there on the wall; It says
that we were bound to fall". Hymn For A Drunk was rather startling with
its well-observed words and ballad-style delivery.
Writer Rick Blackman explains: "To paraphrase reactionary Rudyard Kipling, it's
about keeping one's head whilst the rest of the world is losing theirs". Down
From The Mountain is seemingly a gloriously uplifting piece but it is open
to interpretation as either a perfectly crafted love song or an ominous ode
with a deeper, more sinister subtext: "She was born amongst the buttercups and
thyme; then she was gone, blown away like dandelions". Don't you just love that!?
What to do next? Grow your hair long; do your own thing and float around in
cheesecloth shirts and bellbottoms or just check out Grantura's music
credentials and lose yourself in dreams…
Bringing a taste of West Coast America to
Britain through their beautifully accessible songs, Grantura's single In
Dreams is released on Ruffa Lane Records on 16 May (2008). The album In
Dreams and Other Stories will be released on August 11 (2008).
Check out www.myspace.com/grantura
"This is just gorgeous" Janice Long, BBC Radio 2
"Grantura's breezy country folk debut reminisces about Crosby, Stills and Nash
over a pint of mild" Artrocker
"Delicate, dreamy tunes, striped with weaving vocal harmonies, moth-eaten mandolins
and luminescent lap steel" Flavorpill
"That really is a beautiful song" Mark Radcliffe, BBC Radio 2
"I've got a soft spot for Grantura, a harmony-driven, country pop band from
London" The Guardian
"They sound like the more rueful musings of Teenage Fanclub. A solid foundation
of acoustic guitars, mandolin, monstrous tunes and delicious harmonies"
"Vocal-harmony driven country rock with folky psychedelia thrown in"
"…songs classically, cleverly put together, then played utterly from the heart"
The Organ Zine
"Listen to Grantura… The sort of music you would expect to hear at places like
Woodstock plenty of love and plenty of flowers. The sort of music that
your soul free" MotorBar
The publicity machine also says: With CSNY-esque harmonies, the delicacy of
Elliot Smith, and the band's innate 21st Century Britishness, In Dreams and
Other Stories, manages to achieve the almost impossible task of providing
the listener with both immediacy and longevity. This is an album that does not
bow to the en vogue influences of today. Rather, with a band of six members
one should expect nothing less than inspirations that cross artistic boundaries
and range from The Zombies to The Stone Roses, Gorky's Zygotic Mynci to Don
Co-writer Lindsay Clark says of Grantura: "It's such a group effort… everybody
listens to different stuff. We throw it all together and see what happens. What
does the album mean to me? I'm really proud of it because of the quality of
song writing throughout."
Early support for the band came from The Guardian who, in their 2008
preview of the year, tipped the band for greatness alongside the likes of Crystal
Castles and MGMT and joined a groundswell of support in fanzines and niche publications.
Grantura is also an awesome live prospect with a multi-instrumental line-up
creating a sound that brightens the darkest of venues. Yet a closer listen reveals
a lyrical content that is the perfect cross of intelligence, humour and desperately
dark subject matter.
With festival places still to be confirmed, Grantura's upcoming live dates include
Tues 20 May: The Troubadour, 265 Old Brompton Road, London SW5 9JA | Doors:
7.30 | £5/£7 | www.wegottickets.com
Sat 7 June: What's Cooking, The Sheepwalk, 692 High Road, Leytonstone, London
E11 3AA | Doors 7.30 | Free | www.whatscookin.co.uk
Sat 12 July: 2000 Trees Festival, Glos Upcote Farm, Withington, Cheltenham,
Gloucestershire, GL54 4BL | Weekend ticket £39 | www.twothousandtreesfestival.co.uk
Sun 20 July: Nashville On Thames, The Buffalo Bar, Highbury Corner, London,
N5 | Doors 7:30 | £5 | www.myspace.com/takethisclubandshoveit
Further live dates to be announced.
About Ruffa Lane
Ruffa Lane was set up by the South East London-based band Lucky Soul and friend
and ex-farmer from Yorkshire Nick Woodhead in 2005, as a way of releasing the
acts' own music on their own terms. Since then, the label has become something
of an international success story, selling 35,000 copies of Lucky Soul's debut
album The Great Unwanted worldwide, including a top 10 release in Japan.
Not bad for a business that was until recently based in a converted Greenwich
fire engine factory. Their remit has developed from releasing records by a single
band to releasing great melodic music from all over the world.
In recent months they've expanded their roster fourfold and will be proudly
presenting their packed release schedule over 2008.
Good luck, Ruffa Lane!