Boston-based Seth Goodman, who records under the name The Grand Undoing, is releasing Sparks Rain Down from the Lights of Love on September 30, 2016. He describes this 10-track album as fitting into the psychedelic, post-rock, and Americana genres, which he uses to confront issues such as alienation and mortality in a way he hopes will inspire and uplift. The main vocals, which sound a little prepubescent, work well in this regard, giving the entire set an almost innocent feel, even at its darkest. By the same token, the flavours from the 1960s and 1970s that can be tasted throughout the set give it the sense of optimistic hope that those times reflected.
The songs hit one of four categories: gentle, chill, angsty, and intense. The album’s standout track is “Lady in Gray”, a ballad built on a beautiful piano and string arrangement with some percussion here and there adding depth. “Falling from a Plane” features the most emotive vocals in the set. Although the tempo in “Most of All We Just Go Around” picks up pretty early on, it remains gentle, with the harmonizing main and backing vocals giving it a dream-like quality.
Listeners can chill out on the midtempo “Sing Yourself Home”, in which a piano and drums flirt, or on “Sparks Rain Down from the Lights of Love”. The opening notes are played on string instruments that lead into an energetic, yet relaxed rock number. Goodman’s angst is channelled in “Let the Big Ball Go” and “The Winter”. The former features an ear-catching electric guitar opening, while the strumming of an electric guitar, combined with the use of strings in the latter, creates a safe environment in which to share one’s emotions.
Intensity is ratcheted up on three songs. The classic rock sound on “Key Biscayne” includes an anthemic chorus, “Living in Amber” manages to be both intense and relaxed at the same time, and “Anyway the Wind” is meant to squeeze one’s heart. These and other tracks are available for streaming on Bandcamp. More information about the band is available on both their official website and their Facebook page.
Pictures provided by The Grand Undoing’s official website.