Song of the Day: Great Grandpa – Teen Challenge

photo by Buggy Vigor

photo by Buggy Vigor

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the day podcast subscription.  This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unrealeased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJ’s think you should hear.  Today’s song, featured on the Morning Show with John Richards, is “Teen Challenge” by Seattle indie rock outfit Great Grandpa from their upcoming album, Plastic Cough, out July 7 on Double Double Whammy.

Great Grandpa – Teen Challenge (MP3)Listening to Great Grandpa is like being engulfed in an inner monologue coping with the anxieties of everyday life. Coming up through Seattle’s DIY scene, they’ve used contorted and off-kilter riffs mixed with witty lyricism to charm audiences and build a reputation as one of the city’s most thought provoking bands. On 2015’s Can Opener EP, lead vocalist Alex Menne would name drop the prophet Zarathustra and Netflix in the same song — a testament to both the band’s widespread interests but also the fact that the metaphysical and the mundane are constantly taking space in our minds at the same time. It’s this keen ability to embrace absurdity that makes their music simultaneously hilarious and poignant.

The band’s full-length debut, Plastic Cough, is poised to continue this trend and open up even more about the transparent indie rockers. Lead single and album opener “Teen Challenge” embraces self deprecation, giving a snarky remembrance of relationship that’s falling apart. Menne’s songwriting is exemplary as she balances the exhaustion of love-life-passive-aggression while giving an aural eye roll as she sings, “I can’t breathe/Would you give me something on the off beat/Oo oo/Always killin’ it.” Underscoring all of this is a wave of melting guitars, speeding up and slowing down in a way that mirrors the ups and down of relationship that’s run its course. It’s a definitive example of everything that Great Grandpa does best: savvy, self-aware, and full of surprising musical moments that will keep listeners guessing throughout.

Great Grandpa will embark on a nationwide tour in July, stopping through Seattle on Saturday, July 15th, for a homecoming show at Barboza with Rozwell Kid and Vundabar. Find out more on their Facebook page. In the meantime, revisit their music video for “Mostly Here” from their Can Opener EP below.

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