Explore by GRMLN (EP)
GRMLN’s brilliantly happy-go-lucky debut EP, ‘Explore’, is permeated throughout with the sound of white sand, clear sea and surf spray
oodoo Park, AKA GRMLN, clearly takes his inspiration from sandy shores, clear waters and clouds, hanging low over high waves. It’s born among the wistful breeze that dances along the coast of a beach, full of friends, teenage dreams and Californian airwaves. The record is a journal of his summers, with sincerity and memories present amongst jangling guitars. Patio has a romantic, lullaby feel, with a pop kick and soft wolf-howl vocals. Coral has a harder beat and more energetic, hasty vibe as the song is about a place that you are always itching to come back to. The guitar rift that rolls out of the first few seconds of Relax Yourself (Dolphin Cry), convinced me I was listening to a slower, indie version of The Violent Femmes’ Blister In The Sun, until a different drumbeat kicked in. GRMLN sounds like The XX on a holiday trip, but with Park packing his own personality.
GRMLN makes mainly dream-pop and chillwave (dream-pop meets synth-pop meets indie) owing to the vague, melodic lyrics and whispering harmonies. This kind of music is so saturated with talent, but GRMLN manages to keep his head above the still waters, with tunes that you want to listen to again and again, without drifting over the ambience.
Only 19 and surfing his way through college, GRMLN wrote this album between lectures and splashes in the ocean. His music is promising and, judging by his nostalgia-fuelled lyrics, there are more stories for him to tell. Recommended for those who are still pretending autumn hasn’t yet dropped itself onto our doorsteps.
Verdict: Roll the windows down on your sunny SoCal road-trip and turn the volume up