Singer-songwriter Guy Grogan is his own man—his own one-man band, that is. Just like with all his previous records, he took care of everything on his new 10-track album Dynamite Bouquet, be it guitars, bass, drums, vocals, piano, or percussion. The Santa Fe-based artist states his genre as a mix of indie rock, power pop, and jazz, all of which and more are present on his latest, which was released last month.
The opening “My Own Way Out” is a high-tempo number that sounds very familiar, and yet, it boasts an interesting combination of toe-tapping, energetic rock with a voice that is more soft rock-oriented. This combination sounds a little odd at first but once you get used to it, it works. “Metafixation” is, well, a relaxed head banger, however odd that sounds – a combination that is reflected in the already familiar contrast between melody (energetic and strong) and vocals (soft and subdued, mainly during the verses of songs). At times it feels like the vocals can’t carry the melody, but as soon as you expect the vocals to lose it, Grogan brings them right back up to par – often just in time for the choruses of songs.
The main melody in “River Like a Cry” fits the vocals perfectly. The mid-tempo tune is relaxed and sinuous, much like a river on a lazy summer day.
Melancholy makes its way for the first time on the album with the laid-back and relaxing “A Ghost Too Soon”, while the mid-tempo, guitar-driven “Nowhere Is Paradise” is a number that has more of a classic alternative rock feel with a modern edge. The contrast between vocals and instrumentation works really well.
“Moonbird” comes as a jazz-infused surprise—it feels like a good way to start winding things down. This genre fits Grogen’s vocals to a T.
“Waterfalls” has a lot of potential but the muffled quality of the drum sound holds it back a bit, which is too bad. That aside, the vocals and music fit together just fine – the interspaced piano that contributes a few notes here and there works especially well.
Dynamite Bouquet ends with “What If I Told You”, the second track of the set that brings a melancholy feel into the fold. Only a delicately played guitar accompanies Grogen’s vocals. This approach comes off strong, especially as it is the easiest time on the album for listeners to focus on the lyrics – they clearly and strongly came through.
This latest offering from Grogen is an album worth listening to, as it provides unique twists on familiar sounds that are surrounded by Grogen’s dynamic soft-to-loud vocals. Tracks are available for streaming on both SoundCloud and Bandcamp.
Pictures provided by Independent Music Promotions.