Grand Vapids
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Grand Vapids

Athens, Georgia, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

Athens, Georgia, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Alternative Indie


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Grand Vapids - 'Guarantees' (album stream) (Premiere)"

Last fall, PopMatters premiered the track “Pale Hooves”, taken from the Athens, Georgia band Grand Vapids’ new album, Guarantees. Now it’s three months later, and the album has just been released into the world; PopMatters is proud to stream the album in its entirety below. With equal parts driving guitar riffs and catchy hooks, Guarantees is an under-the-radar indie rock LP that, well, should be on everyone’s radar. This is approachable yet somewhat distant rock that draws you in with its melancholy brood—a perfect aural companion to have when the winter skies are still grey.

Singer and guitarist McKendrick Bearden spoke with PopMatters about the album: “We began writing and recording the songs that would eventually make up Guarantees a little over two years ago. During that time we went through a lot of conflict and changes in our personal lives and even had a mutual friend who died. Emotionally, things became chaotic and I don’t think we ever really talked about how we felt with each other. We just kept writing and it became a way for us to control the chaos. As we kept working on songs together, it became evident that we were dealing with the same issues.

“We didn’t set out to write an album with a theme. There was no plan. We just really enjoyed working on songs together. But in hindsight, however vague or out of context it may be to the listener, a theme is present. On the face of it, this record is about loss, but at the same time it’s about seeking a guarantee, an idea or concept to hold on to that allows you to simultaneously look forward while looking back—something that, quite honestly, is evasive and mostly likely doesn’t exist.” - PopMatters

"Grand Vapids – “Kiln” (Stereogum Premiere)"

"Understated gorgeousness ... a droning take on indie rock in the lineage of Galaxie 500, Low, and fellow Georgians Deerhunter ... all somnambulant beauty and shimmering, scraping white noise." - Stereogum

"Grand Vapids – “Aubade”"

"The whimsical result of a young band experimenting in the studio ... pulsing drums and echoing vocal effects create a sense of constant movement. Nothing is ever hurried, and each moving part feels defined and purposeful.” - Stereogum

"With Guarantees, Grand Vapids Cuts Through the Noise"

In a town as small as Athens, it's common for recognition to inflate a band's ego, even when it may not be fully deserved. It’s rare and refreshing to discover a band both modest and fully educated in its craft, technically proficient and musically compatible, with songs that are simultaneously thought-provoking and enjoyable.

Local rock quartet Grand Vapids’ principal songwriters, Austin Harris and McKendrick Bearden, met while studying music at Georgia’s LaGrange College, where they began writing songs for Grand Vapids’ precursor project, the folk-leaning indie rock trio Androcles and the Lion. Those songs, performed as part of a LaGrange senior recital, ended up becoming Androcles’ first EP, As Far As Blindness Could See, recorded at Chase Park Transduction with drummer Paul Stevens and engineer Drew Vandenberg.

Subsequent recording sessions for an Androcles full-length revealed that a new project had emerged. “We start recording these newer songs, and we’re kind of fleshing out the arrangements, and… we just kind of realize, ‘Oh, this is a different band. This isn’t the same thing. The songs are so different’,” says Bearden.

With Stevens taking an active role in writing and arranging new material, and a suspicion that the trio had landed on something different, the group added Bearden’s childhood friend Chris Goggans on bass and changed the band name as recording wrapped.

Recorded and mixed with Vandenberg at Chase Park, Grand Vapids’ debut album, Guarantees, is an incredibly candid look into each songwriter’s personal turmoil during the two-to-three-year span of the record’s creation: Romantic relationships folded; friends passed away and left confusion and grief in their place.

“Kiln” and “Aubade,” written by Bearden and Harris, respectively, were spawned after the death of a LaGrange schoolmate, a songwriter the two admired for his artistic courage. “There are specific lyrics in there that deal with that, but at the same time it’s just kind of grappling with that loss and trying to find some solace in poetry or beauty of another nature that brings a kind of consolation,” says Harris.

“Maybe, in some ways… it’s influenced our decision to continue as a band,” Bearden says. “I’m sure it [made] its way into a lot of [the album] unknowingly.”

Anxious and reflective, Guarantees is an album of sheer beauty, featuring a dense wall of guitars and a chugging rhythm section. Its title track, the album’s final song, begins with the steady thump of a floor tom and a dirge-like chord progression on piano before the chime of a bell and a pleasantly strummed acoustic guitar signal a quick shift.

As Bearden sings about the overwhelming, transformative aspects of love, certain phrases stick out: “You give me new form,” “You shape me all over” and, most distinctly, “You ask for nothing/ And I give you failure.”

As the album’s promotional campaign wraps, having garnered nods from Stereogum, Consequence of Sound and CMJ, among others, Grand Vapids modestly moves forward with an album release show at the Caledonia Lounge Friday. Humble and happy to be playing music together, the band has already managed to cut convincingly through the noise. - Flagpole Magazine

"Week In Pop"

"A sledgehammer to the gut hit of deconstructed self-agonizing anguish ... strikes you in your most vulnerable spot." - Impose

"Grand Vapids Share New Song "Kiln""

“Fuzzy, understated … nostalgic and straightforward at the same time.” - Paste

"Track Premiere: Grand Vapids – “Tuned”"

"Good music ... a lazing Beck monotone and a wobbly Pixies buzz." - CMJ

"Grand Vapids share new song “Aubade” — listen"

"The whimsical result of a young band experimenting in the studio ... pulsing drums and echoing vocal effects create a sense of constant movement. Nothing is ever hurried, and each moving part feels defined and purposeful.” - Consequence of Sound

"Song Premiere: Grand Vapids “Worth Fearing”"

“Vocals like whiskey and a fireplace on a winter night—similar to Father John Misty’s more tender side—and the lush layers of guitar provide a swirling, ambient undercurrent to get lost in.” - Alt Citizen

"MP3 at 3PM: Grand Vapids"

Athens, Ga., quartet Grand Vapids formed in early 2014 and ready for the release of debut album Guarantees, out January 20. Now the band offers a taste of the new LP with the song “Secret Sin,” and if this is any sign of how the rest of the album will be, you better hold on tight. “Secret Sin” acts as a four-minute earthquake, going through droney calms, exploding into powerful bursts and finally bringing destruction to your eardrums. We are proud to premiere the track today on Download it below. - Magnet Magazine

"LISTEN: Grand Vapids Release Drifting, Laid-Back New Single, “No Memory”"

Four-piece ensemble Grand Vapids just got together at the beginning of last year, but they’ve wasted no time in making a name for themselves ahead of their debut record Guarantees. In the vein of Real Estate—whose own debut five years ago made some very significant (and very relaxed) waves in the indie music world—the Atlanta band continue the thread of twenty-first-century, reinvigorated guitar-driven music, and their latest single “No Memory” is a perfect reflection of the process, which the band describes thusly:

“We didn’t wanted to rush anything on this record,” says singer/guitarist Austin Harris. “We took our time, really worked on the songs as a band, and played them a lot before going into the studio. When we started recording, it felt natural and we had a lot of room to expand the arrangements.” - Flood Magazine

"Athfest 2015: A Recap"

With the night fully descended upon Athens, The Rooftop crowd swelled just in time for Grand Vapids: Part Two. While the Dirty Athens day set was heavy on Deerhunter with hints of Cloud Nothings, the nighttime version featured the melodic indie drone they debuted in January. Spurned Caledonia fans from earlier saw a band returning to their roots. What I saw was a band that approached the weekend with the same intentionality of every pick stroke and melody present on Guarantees. Simply put they catered to the party, showed a little more personality, and displayed some musical growth. That kind of thought and dedication to their craft is what has this band poised for a breakout. If you hoped to find Athens’ next big export at this year’s Fest, Grand Vapids is the one you want to pretend like you’ve been listening to for months. - See more at: - Vinyl Mag


Guarantees - 1/20/15



Forming in early 2014, Grand Vapids spent the course of a year recording its debut album Guarantees with producer and engineer Drew Vandenberg (of Montreal, Deerhunter, Kishi Bashi) at Chase Park Transduction in Athens, GA. On the album the sonic palette is wide. With  guitars that are laboriously crafted, a driving rhythm section, and synths that are densely layered and structured. The songs are at once intimate and expansive, exploring a fevered state of fear and wonder. The album was mastered by Joe Lambert (Wye Oak, Sharon Van Etten, Wild Nothing) in NYC.

While Grand Vapids' music could easily satiate the space between Yo La Tengo and Sonic Youth, there is a depth of feeling to these songs that moves beyond nostalgia and pushes the listener toward a state of mind where memory and wonderment intersect. It is a delicate and dense balance on a debut record that finds the band carving out its own musical identity.

Grand Vapids is McKendrick Bearden, Austin Harris, Paul Stevens, and Chris Goggans.

Their debut album Guarantees was released on January 20th, 2015.

Band Members