Known for their cinematic orchestrations blending folk, pop and electronic music, Grandchildren have been steadily making a name for themselves since songwriter Aleks Martray founded the group in Philadelphia in 2008. Since then the band has evolved into a dynamic ensemble of musicians, lauded by critics and fans alike for their intricately layered arrangements and high-energy performances.
Martray attributes their eclectic sound to his nomadic upbringing across Europe, the US and Latin America and a reverence for music of the past. He explains, “I grew up on everything from Michael Jackson, to Fela Kuti, to Rachmaninoff, so music was both a form of time travel and the one constant that held everything together.” This sense of a sonic journey and musical omnivorousness is what defined Grandchildren’s first two albums – Everlasting (2010) and Golden Age (2013).
With their third album ZUNI, Grandchildren hone their distinctive ability to strike a poetic balance between the intimate and epic. Throughout the album, a joyful celebratory lightness is at battle with its lyrical darkness, washing over them like a baptism. The resulting feeling is an elixir of moods that can best be described as a kind of “dark pop” – a poetic tug of war between beauty and darkness, inspiration and despair, where simple heartfelt songs usher you through a landscape of complex rhythms and melodies. Martray describes the underlying creative process as something akin to lucid dreaming.