Artist of the Week – Grawlix

Over the years, we are always impressed with DIY one-man bands who are able to craft, record and mix amazing songs that sound better than a lot of bands with four or five members. From Derby, England, Grawlix (pronounced ‘Graw-lix’), the one-man band helmed by musician James Machin (formerly of My Psychoanalyst), does just that.

Not even a year since founding Grawlix, Machin fittingly dropped his debut album, Good Grief, on Valentine’s Day. We say ‘fittingly’ because there is love and heartbreak, raw emotion and despair – the inevitable contradictions of the foolish heart – present and lurking about within the ten tracks of this accomplished LP.

Grawlix

Good Grief‘s remarkable sonic journey is full of fuzzy, warm guitars, hauntingly beautiful piano melodies, and Machin’s wonderfully pained vocals that morph from moments of whispery, hushed melancholy into uplifting and flourishing choruses that quickly wash away any remnants of despair or discord, providing hope to a world that is too often plagued by darkness. Grawlix lovingly blends all of the aforementioned elements with ambient folk, shoegaze and dream pop on standout tracks like “Run Forever” and “Atlas Bear” – just a couple of the songs (available below for streaming or download) that we’ve listened to at least a half dozen times in the past couple of weeks.

Machin’s self-professed musical mentors – Bon Iver, Perfume Genius and Panda Bear, among others – are clearly beckoned, and well represented, but never imitated; Machin is too innately gifted as a songwriter, and a talented musician, to settle for cheap knock-offs. Instead, he belongs within their ranks.

Good Grief is one of the finest albums we’ve heard so far in 2015. From this point forward, Machin’s work can only be served justice by popping up on the radar screens of dazzled indie bloggers and music reviewers everywhere. We can’t wait to hear what he delivers next. But, for now, we’re content with Grawlix’s enormously satisfying debut.

Run ForeverGrawlix from Good Grief

Atlas Bear Grawlix from Good Grief

Bonus: “Clump Soul” video by Machin’s former band, My Psychoanalyst

Purchase Good Grief on limited edition vinyl or digital download via Bandcamp

Grawlix on Facebook

Grawlix Official Website

Twitter handle: @grawlixband

Coming Up: : Best DIY Music of 2015, Vol. II; Bands You’ve Gotta Hear @SXSW; 5 Bands That Rock. Don’t miss the latest Top 10 Indie Rock Songs charts playlists

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