Boomkat Product Review:
Grand Archives is the new ensemble from ex-Band Of Horses member Mat Brooke. This Seattle quintet would seem to be diametrically opposed to their hometown's reputation for gloom and introspection. This eponymous debut is a defiantly sunny affair, redolent of the buoyant harmonies and optimism of '60s west coast pop, but not in a trivial, sugary fashion; there's real substance here. The opening couplet 'Torn Blue Foam Couch' and 'Miniature Birds' (with its cheery flugel horn and cor anglais arrangement) are a real delight to the ears, beautifully recorded and written in a style that revisits the past without being tarnished by kitsch. 'A Setting Sun' is another example of the band's finely crafted pop, counteracting the almost excessively upbeat guitar chords and tambourine flapping, with a corona of slightly fuzzy saturation over the drums. 'Breezy No Breezy' takes a step back, delving into a Jon Brion-like instrumental before paving a way into 'Sleepdriving', an emotionally-charged slow jam that hints at the sort of potential these guys are storing up. Based on all this, it wouldn't be entirely surprising to find Brooke receiving the kind of favourable attention his old band have been enjoying lately. Excellent.