Bedroom pop has a reputation for repetitive and lackluster vocals and melodies, yet Grandma’s new release proves that the Atlanta based multi-instrumentalist remains an exception. Following his November release “Chills”, in which the genre-crossing artist’s voice manifests by a distorted roar, demanding to be heard, Grandma came back with a single on December 8th and a sequential music video titled, “GROWING UP IS STRANGE”.
Grandma released the following statement about the track:
“GROWING UP IS STRANGE” is about how certain little micro-aggressions can leave a lasting impact on you later in life,” Grandma shared. “I wanted to have a song that talked about my experience coping with the subtle traumas surrounding young love. You don’t have to worship your pain. If you want to, I got you, growing up is so strange.”
The chorus is captured by the last two sentences of the preceding statement. The first verse is as follows:
Sometimes you think you know you got me cornered
Between a person, you love between a person who wasn’t there
So when I look back I just staring moving forward
Because it hurts a little less when I act so unaware
While Grandma does understand the urge to glorify your sadness over past relationships, he canalizes the comfort gained through detachment or neutrality to the idea of them. He acknowledges that although you may love someone, it does not necessarily mean they exude a positive presence in your life.
The music video’s opening shot is of dolls being thrown up in the air, a relinquishing of the past if you will.
Before this release, Grandma has made his mark on 2020 with new singles such as, “The Sensation” and “Everyone’s on their Phone”, an ode to the state of loneliness and isolation that this technologically occupied adolescent community finds itself given the current quarantine situation. Released April 2020, GRANDMA had recorded and edited the music video for the anthem by himself In the foreground of a melancholy beat and throbbing synthesizer sounds, Grandma cries in his airless vocals: “
I wanna go to where the sidewalk ends,
Hang over the concrete ledge and watch our friends dissolve
But now, now it’s all about the quiet nights end,
(Shhh) and I try to pretend that this is how it’s supposed to evolve
Through cathartic and relatable lyrics, Grandma narrates the tale of a bewildered age bracket that finds solace in their phones during times of ambiguity. The video eulogizes internet culture, featuring the iPhone camera app and distortion filters. The track does sympathize with a desire to return to relationships and a social life that we all enjoyed before quarantine, however, the chorus offers some solace. As he stands on a water tower at an actual abandoned naval base, Grandma sings “I sent you things I wouldn’t say but it’s all okay cause it sounds nice / Even when you’re stuck at home, all alone, it’s alright.”
His lyrics capture a need for communication when there isn’t much for us to update each other on: “I just came by to say nothing at all,” he softly drones.
Throughout his work, Grandma’s sultry voice is a blanket of comfort and empathy.
Grandma’s unique vocal and compositional choices stem from his status as a genre crasher, breaking barriers and integrating facets of hip-hop, raw funk, alternative R&B, and lo-fi pop in his tracks.