Granian
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Granian

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"Recent Reviews"



"The slick but jangly songs on his fourth album, ''My Own Two Feet,'' recall the heartachey alternative pop of Matchbox 20, Live and John Mayer. "On My Own,'' ''My Voice'' and ''Ain't That a Shame'' give him a chance to show off his strong but friendly tenor and smarts in the studio. The songs, which build from simple acoustic guitar parts to carefully maintained full-band peaks, are as tuneful, tightly composed and expertly produced as anything with the stamp of a major label."
- Ben Sisario,  The New York Times



"As tuneful as Tonic, intense as Ryan Cabrera, powerful as Switchfoot, commercial as Maroon 5 or Matchbox 20, irresistible as an old Peter Gabriel track and flat out sing-along wonderful as anything Crowded House ever recorded"
- Al Muzer, The Aquarian Weekly



"Together the group created an album that has soul and passion. Granian belts his heart out and the others complement, rather than compete, with his voice and his lyricism.  For a solo project, the debut definitely has potential, showing that he is go in places with a sound, while similar to those before him, which has strength and delight mixed together.  The album shows the ability of Granian to make it into the pop mainstream.  A powerful sound such as his shows his confidence in himself and his music, which is important.  His sound is pleasant to the ear and has a beat that's fun to listen to."
- The Badger Herald - University of Wisconsin-Madison



"The album is a pop-friendly singer-songwriter effort, and the live show is sure to back that up."
- Kari Wethington,  cinweekly.com



"Easily one of the best independent records I’ve heard in 2004, On My Own Two Feet is filled with hooky, melodic, driving pop/rock that just doesn’t quit. Every once in a while I find a new record that I can listen to from beginning to end, and this new one from Granian fits that bill. He currently has no label backing him, but with a solid band and a powerful new release that can stand up to anything out there, that might not hold true for long. Do your part and support independent music, and if you’re like me and you hunger for quality songs, it’ll be one of the best purchases you make in 2004. Trust me." 
- Mike Farley, Bullz-eye.com



"Granian is the answer for those who find Mraz and Mayer too pop."
- King's of A&R



"Those who dig John Mayer and Jason Mraz but want something a little heavier might want to check out Granian. The singer song-writer's music is in the commercial alt-pop/rock vein - only less poppy and more edgy."
- Anne Erickson, Lansing State Journal



"Here's a chance to say you saw an artist playing the small clubs before he really hit big. The music is soulful and sometimes raw, but also has a seemingly commercial sound.  Think early Peter Gabriel."
- Lana Mini, Southfield Eccentric



"Granian continues to write pop-rock tunes in the vein of Wind-Up Records artists and the late 90's artists that permeated Billboard."
- smother.net



"Lots of newcomers or lesser-known rock outfits like the boast of being the best band you've never heard, but singer/songwriter Granian can back up the boast."
- Arizona Daily Star



"Granian is a sensative dude for a post-Dave Matthews/Guster/ John Mayer/ Hootie/Adam Duritz world.  And if you really thought that the submission that those fellas bombed the country into was anything besides a complete annihilation, that there was some sorta charred and flattened American landscape left worth exploring to find more of the same and the same of more, then perhaps Granian's sensative acoustic stylings might be just exactly the kinda thing to put on"
- Jambands.com



"it's one thing to pick up and acoustic guitar and play it for your friends but it's a feat of personal conviction and sheer creative dexterity that allows musicians like Garen to synchronize a live performance like a well oiled clock hammer."
- Phreshwater.com



"His powerful vocals, aggressive guitar play and intense emotional honesty makes Granian a force to be reckoned with."
- Uncle Mike, The Two River Times



"A breathtakingly powerful acoustic rock performance that belied its intimate setting.  Its obvious that Granian has his influences and is capable of turning in radio rock hits as catchy as anything Matchbox or Vertical Horizon, but in this reviewer's opinion, it is when he starts out tight with passion, lets the song build and then just lets loose that you fell the full power, lyricism, and the sound of Granian."
- Auralgasms.com



"Armed with his guitar, Garen creates thoughtful tunes and infectious melodies that have become his signature style."
- studioexpresso.com



"There are a lot of young ladies who want to be the subject of Granian's next song.  He is one of a new breed of singer-songwriter making a name for himself with people who hear his music on the internet, download it for friends and generate a buzz by word of mouth."
- Don Wilcoc - of "On My Own Two Feet"


Discography

"Alternate Mixes" - Released 2006
"On My Own Two Feet" - Released 2004
"My Voice EP" - Released 2004
"Live Sessions" - Released 2003
"Hang Around" - Released 2000
"Without Change" - Released 1996

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

He'd been anointed by Spin as the hottest unsigned artist on the planet. He'd racked up more than 25,000 sales with no label muscle. He's hit number one on MP3.com. He'd drawn from a kaleidoscope of influences to create a passion-drenched, personal style that had brought him bookings up and down the East Coast and as far west as California.

But something wasn't right.

And so, in 2003, Garen Gueyikian, a.k.a. Granian, stepped out on his own. He got himself centered. He recorded a solo album, Live Sessions, in a studio filled with thirty fortunate fans and hundreds of flickering candles. It is a riveting document -- but still something was missing.

Which leads to On My Own Two Feet, an astonishing CD performed by Granian backed by musicians who are fully connected to his songs. His journey hasn't been long, but with this release he blends all that he's experienced into a perfect reflection of who this artist is and, more important, what he is soon to become.

Break it down: The singing is unforgettable -- always musical but urgent and raw. The lyrics suggest a passage through pain to a place of strength, though whether they address issues of love or something bigger is open to discussion. ("I spent too much time on my knees for you … Consider yourself set free," he rages on "Mark My Words.") Instrumentally, these tracks are uncanny; driven by Granian's ferociously percussive guitar and celebrated drummer Nir Z's propulsive rhythm, they drop sharp hooks like anchors into a sea of turbulent emotion.

Impressive stuff -- especially when you consider how this album was recorded. We'll get to that in a minute -- first, let's wind the clock back to when On My Own Two Feet began to take shape in Granian's imagination.

"My true colors came out with this album," says the Holmdel, New Jersey native. "On My Own Two Feet is exactly what I was hearing in my head: more in your face than anything I'd done before. That's because I let it brew for quite a while. I played each song by myself for a long time. My goal was to have the songs ready and sounding great on their own, so that when I went into pre-production and arranged them, they were fully formed and ready to go."

But working solo also built up Granian's restlessness. From the start he wanted On My Own Two Feet to rock. There were obvious steps to take toward making this happen, not the least of which was to find the right producer. This turned out to not be so difficult: Through mutual friends he contacted Mike Shimshack, whose résumé included projects in country, hard rock, pop -- a sprawl of styles, though in each he found the right sound for the occasion. A meeting or two was all it took to persuade Granian that he had found his partner.

"We had enough trust to challenge each other until we came up with something we both knew was right," Granian says. "On 'My Voice,' for instance, he felt that my melody and lyrics were a little mysterious for the music. So he borrows my guitar, asks me to sing the song, and plays it with a slower feel. The next thing I knew, we had a completely rearranged song with a new bridge and a new breakdown, all done on the fly. That's how it was throughout these sessions."

"As I started playing solo acoustic in 2003, I wanted to write these songs and keep working on them until they were ready to record.  It was just as important to find the right musicians. And when that time came I wanted to work with professionals, with hard-hitting players who understood what I was going for.”

This also proved easier than he expected. Through his producer Granian assembled an ideal group, beginning with drummer Nir Z, whose history included work with John Mayer and Peter Gabriel. Kyle Kelso (Tony C. & the Truth, Driver X, Wunderband) sculpted his aggressive guitar parts with a contradictory sensitivity, bassist Pemberton Roach laid down massive, high-impact lines, and Chris Gignoux sprinkled electronic details that added mystery and texture to the mix. It was the kind of band any gifted singer/songwriter would die to take into the studio and out on the road …

"I didn't meet these guys until the day we started recording," he explains. "That was the beauty of it: to get together with great musicians, play them my songs, and then have them run with that. And it worked brilliantly. There was one song I played for Nir Z once, then I played it again and talked about what I wanted, and then he got behind his drums and threw it down perfectly the first time he played it, which was also the third time he heard it. All the guys were like that. They totally got it." 

"I had demoed each song with vocals and acoustic guitar," he says. "I'd cut them a little tighter than I do them live, so that the guitar wasn't too busy or crazy and I could give an impression of what kind of feel I wanted from the band. When we were finished, I was amazed: It sounds like the tightest live band you could imagine."

That's the key: these players we