Grebes "House Creature"
$5.00 - $9.00

  • Grebes

Grebes "House Creature"
$5.00 - $9.00

As a member of Natalie Prass’ live band, Jacob Underleiger is plenty familiar with playing bright, upbeat, and funky pop songs. The music he makes under the name Grebes isn’t the complete opposite, but it’s certainly kitty-corner to Prass’ arena-ready dazzlers. His eight-song debut House Creature (out 6/28 via Broken Circles) sounds like what its title suggests; introverted, somber, and confined to a single space.

There’s a lot of waiting, hoping, and obsessive reminiscing throughout Underleiger’s crestfallen lyrics. He sounds holed-up—mostly figuratively, but sometimes physically—and for better or worse, that mindstate yielded a set of songs that seem to grow out of a curtain-clad living room. A place a house creature would roam exhaustively.

Grebes’ music sounds like it could fill that room. The Andy Shauf-esque “wyd” is painstakingly detailed and passionately layered. The thumping piano lick and steadily dripping backbeat provide a sense of order while Underleiger’s pretty, whispery coo--multiplied and manipulated with effects--flutters melodically above. The song begins to brim with a bouquet of synths that shimmer and squelch, while brief flashes of compressed psych guitar crackle through the mix, like embers blowing non-threateningly out of the fireplace. “Beleev” features a wobbly synth that embodies the window being thrown open on the first day of spring. While the groovy “Halo” is imbued with the warm glow of late-afternoon on a summery Sunday.

But the album’s final third has a distinctly nocturnal character. “Always Home” is a hushed acoustic crooner with fibery finger-picking a la Sufjan Stevens. “Plum” is a short soul ballad with heavenly background harmonies, and a vocal effect that makes Underleiger sound like he’s disintegrating and floating up into the ether. “Always New” features soft, pillowy percussive strikes and velvetine vocals that meld with the strumming in a way that recalls In Rainbows-era Radiohead. That is until a plunky, almost watery synth takes over from Underleiger’s singing and the song is sucked up into a dreamy swirl of keys.

It’s a relatively unceremonious ending for an album that features such vivacious highs and achingly pretty lows, dynamically speaking. But just a few lines prior, Underleiger is singing about desperately holding onto fading memories. Everything slips through our fingers eventually, and although that truth is repeatedly hard to swallow, House Creature manages to find beauty in our impermanence.

Track Listing

  1. One Trick Pony
  2. Wyd
  3. Beleev
  4. Crown
  5. Halo
  6. Always Home
  7. Plum
  8. Always New

Pressing Information

CASSETTE
100 — Clear Teal


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