Things have been going pretty well for Grand Cousin: Henry Hall ’14, Evan Low ’14, and Robby Caplan ’14 have been more active than ever since graduating in May, and they’re getting all sorts of press about that “music” thing they do. From The AV Club writing up their single “Oxygen” to Paste Magazine premiering their other song “Better” to other publications that aren’t Wesleying doting over their guitar-smart, upbeat, catchy-as-anything “alternative pop” (their descriptor, but I think it’s pretty apt), this band is not finding it too tough to burst the Wesleyan bubble. (Maybe soon, they’ll stop talking about the band in reference to a certain entertainment figure that a certain member is related to! A kid can dream.)
Now you can hear their debut EP,
coming out tomorrow which came out on July 15. Big step for a new band, although they’ve been together since 2010 so it’s about time. But be glad they gave it such close attention, because the immaculately-produced EP is full of musical goodies—I wouldn’t call it “easy on the ears,” because even though Hall’s voice is sweet and sunshiney, and every song has a sharp hook, the band is playing their instruments like they’re aiming for the big leagues. “Wring Your Hands” has a jaunty pace but off-putting (in a good way) guitar popping up in the background here and there. “How I Care” has a mean bass solo midway through that took me by surprise, and even the Grizzly Bear-like “Oxygen” features some bright guitar noodling. (“Oxygen” is a serious song-of-the-summer contender.) “Better” gets a little more rocking with the drum fills competing for most prominent instrument, while “Me Time” shows them slowing down with no less attention to detail.
Grand Cousin personally described the EP in an interview with A Music Blog, Yea? as “Anxious lyrics, deep grooves, tasty melodies.” Fitting? You can hear for yourself and stream the whole album at Nylon Guys Mag, and
it will be out the rest of the world tomorrow you can download it on iTunes now, and I assume via the usual retailers/ask your friend of a friend for a burned cd. Meanwhile, enjoy the thoroughly hilarious “Oxygen” video below.
UPDATE: Things apparently haven’t been going so well for Grand Cousin, because they have announced they are splitting up. Not only is this EP their final release, but their final show is coming up, as well. If you’re in New York and can make it, they’ll be playing one last hoorah at Arlene’s Grocery this Sunday, July 27. From their Facebook page:
On behalf of everybody at Grand Cousin Inc., we have had such an amazing time making music and playing shows for all y’all. All good things, though, like floppy discs, Lululemon, Enron, and rides at Disneyland, must come to an end. So, after 4 and 1/2 years of sexy fun and truly great times, the members of Grand Cousin are going their separate ways. We still love each other dearly and will keep hugging each other all the time, but the EP will be the last official release from Grand Cousin.
We’ll always have “Oxygen,” though.