Grizfolk details what was required to write each track on a new self-titled album

Whether it’s the band or the audience, when asked to describe the music Grizfolk makes, the answer is often the namesake himself: Grizfolk makes Grizfolk music. What that means is for everyone to define – but it certainly includes unerring confidence with an Americana twang and unmistakable nods.

The new self-titled album (add it to your favorite service) follows in the footsteps of the band’s other projects. He mixes unwavering energy, got the crowd singing, but was able to add a live show vibe that was amazingly captured in a studio.

“It seems to me to be the bridge between our first and our second album,” says keyboardist / singer Sebastian Fritze. “There are things that remind me of when we started – the curiosity in terms of sound and innovation and creation of sound worlds – and also of Rarest of Birds and its organic, living instruments.

“It was a great challenge and a great accomplishment, a new way of writing, and so much was uncertain. This uncertainty was strange and shocking, but also inspiring. When things calmed down a bit, we got out of panic mode and started to think structurally, formed a great team of songwriters and producers around us, and basically said, “This is the. new world ; let’s not cross our arms and refuse, let’s go in, take advantage and absorb it. It has opened so many doors for us.

The group offered one song by song for the album, exclusive to readers of American songwriters.

It’s a voice for the voiceless..for people who want to speak up or take action, but can’t. We wrote most of the song in Nashville the night before playing at Lightning 100’s Live on the Green festival, and we loved it so much that the day after the festival we took it to our friend Randall Kent’s studio. and finished it with him.

Be my Yoko:
A psychedelic love song about someone so special that you would break the band for them. We wanted to take the expression “Being the band’s Yoko” and change it in a positive light. We kissed a great Phil Spector anthem “Wall of Sound” with this one. Gabe Simon co-wrote it with us, and as producer Randall Kent was able to bring the underlying colors of this record to life.

Upper California:
It’s an older concept that found new meaning when we were at Joshua Tree for a writing retreat. We’re a friendly 420 band and always try to slip an anthem into every album, but this one is less subtle. It is the folly of giving up everything to go west. It’s a song about chasing dreams that sparkle like rhinestones in the Californian sun and smell of premium cannabis blowing in the wind.

Now that I know:
It’s a song about that feeling of knowing that something can go wrong on the basis of a little thing. Maybe you’re incredibly invested in something, but there’s one bad apple that ruins the whole basket, and it hurts so bad because you know in your head it’s such a small thing, but it doesn’t. is not perfect and you are a perfectionist. It was written in Nashville with Tim Bruns and Jeremy Luttito, Lutito also producing it.


We’ve been playing Ripple live for years… fans have downloaded clips of us playing it everywhere from Cleveland to Berlin. It has always been one of our favorite songs, but every time we tried to record it we couldn’t capture the magic of what the song meant to us. Rich Costey was instrumental in guiding us on how to finally pull this song off – the instrumentation, tempo, and vibe were all meant to be a bit more subtle / understated than we had in previous years. Lyrically, the song is about righting your wrongs and uncovering your truth by making mistakes. It’s a song about living in the fast lane, until you realize the fast lane is actually slowing you down.

Faded away was created through different currents of inspiration, but above all it is a song about impermanence and the unknown. It’s also a song where the bridge could be our favorite section of the whole piece: I think the melody, instrumentation and emotion of that part perfectly sums up the whole concept, in a way or of another. We wrote it in Nashville with Kyle Ryan, just months before the pandemic and the lockdown that followed. That day’s initial work / demo tape had a magic we knew we wanted to capture once we started recording it, and so we returned to Kyle’s studio over a year later after the lockdown and l ‘re-recorded with him, keeping a lot of the original parts of that first working tape in the final recording. It is also Grizfolk’s first song with a banjo in it.

It’s an older song that we started years ago. Early in Grizol’s career, we would often go on tour for months to come home completely broke with no money at all, just to turn around in a few days and replay more dates. because we really love to play for our fans and believe in what we do. Somewhere along the way, jokingly, one of us said “this is how I lost all my money” in response to a question about being a musician. It became a recurring joke that being in a band is how we wasted all of our money, and at one point we put a melody behind it and sing the line in response to various lumbar puncture type moments. that arose. Then, during an extended hiatus on the tour, the melody stuck with us a bit and we wrote an entire song with that line as the hook of the chorus. We liked it, but weren’t sure if it was good enough, and it sat on the back burner for a while. After a few years, we dusted it off and reworked the lyrics, eventually putting the pieces of the puzzle together and changing the refrain from “this is how I wasted all my money” to “what would you do about it.” silver”. Lots of other lyrics have changed as well (we co-wrote this one with our friend Ollie, who has contributed so much), but the theme has remained the same: how far would you go to chase your dreams and do what you like ?

Queen of the Desert:
This song had a few different shapes and sounds. We wrote this song some time ago and relaunched it during the writing process of this album. We felt it fitted in perfectly with the dusty, desert atmosphere of some tracks. At one point, the whole song had a sound that would fit right into a spaghetti western. In fact, we ended up taking the original demo which has that more catchy feel in the verses and mixed it up with the desert and western version, which you can certainly hear in the final version. When we wrote the song, we took inspiration from some of Quentin Tarantino’s films. The song takes you on a journey through Hollywood, where we meet a female character whose individuality is so strong that she pierces the city’s vanity like a mirage. His energy and daring draw us in, and we are infatuated and almost possessed. We named her Queen of the Desert.

When we started making this album, the four of us retired from group writing to Joshua Tree, California. We brought all our gear and recording gear and turned our airbnb into a studio / jam room where we could write new songs and record demos. We had dozens of ideas this trip, but more importantly our third album started to take shape and focus. When we wrote ‘Howlin’ it came out really fast. We were sitting outside on the back porch of our house watching the sun go down and the moon start to shine, and Fred played the chords over nylon string acoustics (the iPhone voice memo we made of that initial idea). may still be my favorite version of the song to listen to). Lyrically, he explores the intricacies of desire and the uncertainty that sometimes accompanies it.

Star Watcher:
It’s a song about the disappearance of someone who has passed away and the genuine feeling that they are still there to guide you. Maybe they still see the same constellations as we do. The idea came from a memory Adam had of stargazing with his father, who died of pancreatic cancer in 2020. Before his death, they spent time enjoying the beauty of the night sky, everything thinking about the meaning of it all. It wasn’t the first time a member of the group had lost a relative to cancer, as Bill’s mother died of breast cancer a few years ago. The song was written during a concentrated writing period in Nashville where we wrote at least a few songs a day, going back and forth across town working with different producers and writers and doing a good job. , as is often the case, a striking inspiration for a song idea can make it seem like it requires maximum effort and concentration, but “Stargazer” was quite the opposite: we wrote the song sitting on the porch. from Adam in about 5 minutes. All the hours we spent writing ideas that ended up being ‘right’ in the days and weeks leading up to this moment freed us up to write something we really loved in minutes, and sometimes that’s how it goes.

Grizfolk succeeded as a blend of the two worlds created by their previous albums, and in many ways it achieves the sound the band had been chasing from the start but weren’t ready to accomplish yet. In fact, Grizfolk’s New Era can be described as just that – an eponymous genre encompassing both the band’s name as well as their sound, created in a time of extreme planetary tension and only succeeding thanks to the band’s sense of camaraderie. four players were able to hold on despite the circumstances.

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