Friday night was one of those dark drizzly, depressing nights that has you wishing you had stayed inside watching crappy Friday night TV. But for those who did make it down to the Borderline to witness Grand Archives first ever UK show, were certainly not let down. The night provided a perfect refuge from the depressing February weather, and showed us what it is that makes the Seattle indie scene so special.
For those not familiar with Grand Archives, the band was formed shortly after lead singer and guitarist Mat Brooke, left Band of Horses (predecessor to Carissa’s Wierd), after the release of Everything All The Time in 2006. Probably best described by Pitchfork, Grand Archives play a mixture of hayseed indie, bashful singer-songwriter comedowns, and sunny, orchestral pop.
Mat Brooke’s former band mate Jenn Ghetto opened the show under her solo name S, and as long time Clarissa’s Wierd fans, it was a real treat to see most of the gang back together again. S set was comprised of predominantly new material off her latest album “I’m not as good at it as you” and blew away the crowd with her soft, melancholic intensity.
Grand Archives then hit the stage and were nothing short of fantastic. Although we had found the latest album a little low-key, we were absolutely blown away by their live performance. Brooke’s airy voice and slow evolving harmonies that reminded us of a cross somewhere between Sigur Ros and 70’s Californian surf rock. The vitality of the songs was laid bare in a way that you don’t get on the album, and the deep emotion and the joyfulness of the songs was made clear.
Over all the show exceeded expectations and was an exciting treat for London fans to finally see them play.
By Laura Scott