Music

Grand Canyon's "21st Century American Man" Is a Psych Rock Epic (premiere)

Photo: Amanda Rowan /Courtesy of Baby Robot

Grand Canyon mark their transition into psych-rock sound with "21st Century Man", their nearly seven-minute rock epic.

Grand Canyon's upcoming EP, Yesterday's News, sees the California band trading out their classic roots influences for the psychedelic thrills of '70s and '80s-era rock. With inspiration rooted in the transitional phases of artists like Warren Zevon and Bruce Springsteen as they shifted into a new sonic landscape, it's an exciting leaf to turn for Grand Canyon. One thing that remains the same is a dedication to being the antithesis of mainstream pop music, shelving synthetic structure for an unwoven tapestry of raw rock 'n' roll. No track solidifies this idealism further than "21st Century American Man", a nearly seven-minute-long epic about self-liberation that sheds societal expectations. An exploration of vibrant psych-rock, the fiery ambition that bursts forth from the song arguably makes the foundation from which all of Yesterday's News stands.

Grand Canyon frontman Casey Shea recalls the development process of "21st Century American Man", telling PopMatters, "When we initially talked about recording this track, we had a vision of the recorded version being at least 15 minutes long. We went for it in the studio, laying down a 25-minute meditation on a sweltering summer day. I had pages and pages of lyrics, and I don't think I started singing till about eight minutes in. We just kept playing and playing."

"One day we came into the studio and our producer, Jamie Candiloro, explained that he loved the vibe of the track, but we were out of our minds if we wanted to put out the full take. He said he was all for experimentation, but at some point, we have to respect the listener. Joe didn't take this very well and put his fist through the wall. He stormed off, and the day was done. This could've easily been a record ender, but eventually cooler heads prevailed."

"A couple of weeks passed with no communication of any kind, and then we got an email from Jamie that only said, 'I got something for you.' Jamie had gone deep into the jungle on his own and extracted about seven minutes of the best stuff. He gave it the full treatment, knowing how we felt about an edit of any kind. We walked in. He sat us down behind his mixing desk and hit play. I looked over at Joe about 30 seconds in, and he had a huge smile on his face. The edit was the right call. Maybe someday, 30 years from now we'll release the full take on an expansive recap of our career, but until then, this will have to do. "

Grand Canyon's new EP, Yesterday's News, drops on 2 August.

Music


Books


Film


Recent
Music

Dancing in the Street: Our 25 Favorite Motown Singles

Detroit's Motown Records will forever be important as both a hit factory and an African American-owned label that achieved massive mainstream success and influence. We select our 25 favorite singles from the "Sound of Young America".

Music

The Durutti Column's 'Vini Reilly' Is the Post-Punk's Band's Definitive Statement

Mancunian guitarist/texturalist Vini Reilly parlayed the momentum from his famous Morrissey collaboration into an essential, definitive statement for the Durutti Column.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

What Will Come? COVID-19 and the Politics of Economic Depression

The financial crash of 2008-2010 reemphasized that traumatic economic shifts drive political change, so what might we imagine — or fear — will emerge from the COVID-19 depression?

Music

Datura4 Take Us Down the "West Coast Highway Cosmic" (premiere)

Australia's Datura4 deliver a highway anthem for a new generation with "West Coast Highway Cosmic". Take a trip without leaving the couch.

Music

Teddy Thompson Sings About Love on 'Heartbreaker Please'

Teddy Thompson's Heartbreaker Please raises one's spirits by accepting the end as a new beginning. He's re-joining the world and out looking for love.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Little Protests Everywhere

Wherever you are, let's invite our neighbors not to look away from police violence against African Americans and others. Let's encourage them not to forget about George Floyd and so many before him.

Music

Carey Mercer's New Band Soft Plastics Score Big with Debut '5 Dreams'

Two years after Frog Eyes dissolved, Carey Mercer is back with a new band, Soft Plastics. 5 Dreams and Mercer's surreal sense of incongruity should be welcomed with open arms and open ears.

Music

Sondre Lerche Rewards 'Patience' with Clever and Sophisticated Indie Pop

Patience joins its predecessors, Please and Pleasure, to form a loose trilogy that stands as the finest work of Sondre Lerche's career.

Film

Ruben Fleischer's 'Venom' Has No Bite

Ruben Fleischer's toothless antihero film, Venom is like a blockbuster from 15 years earlier: one-dimensional, loose plot, inconsistent tone, and packaged in the least-offensive, most mass appeal way possible. Sigh.

Books

Cordelia Strube's 'Misconduct of the Heart' Palpitates with Dysfunction

Cordelia Strube's 11th novel, Misconduct of the Heart, depicts trauma survivors in a form that's compelling but difficult to digest.

Music

Reaching For the Vibe: Sonic Boom Fears for the Planet on 'All Things Being Equal'

Sonic Boom is Peter Kember, a veteran of 1980s indie space rockers Spacemen 3, as well as Spectrum, E.A.R., and a whole bunch of other fascinating stuff. On his first solo album in 30 years, he urges us all to take our foot off the gas pedal.

Film

Old British Films, Boring? Pshaw!

The passage of time tends to make old films more interesting, such as these seven films of the late '40s and '50s from British directors John Boulting, Carol Reed, David Lean, Anthony Kimmins, Charles Frend, Guy Hamilton, and Leslie Norman.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.