Mona Lisa Apple by Grandpa Was a Lion (September 16, 2011) *
It would be inappropriate to mention the latest release from Grandpa Was a Lion without first talking about his milestone introductory work, The Whalestoe Tapes- that’s it, I mentioned it, now you listen to it.
Mona Lisa Apple is the collection of, and addition too, the recent string of single releases from production master, song-writing extraordinary, Justin D’Onofrio. His absolute smash hit, ‘Paris‘ still holds the record for most popular Dingus song (as ranked by Hype Machine), but that’s just a statistic. Justin’s control is admirable. The skill with which he molds his tracks is completely unparalleled. His ability to emote exceeds most who are “famous” for doing exactly that, and it shows. D’Onofrio’s ability to place a hook is something you feel rather than know, it’s comparable to Wilco, really. We’ve had a long relationship with GWAL, and decided, this time, to be on the giving end of things, as we dub Mona Lisa Apple part of our Best New Music.
Mona Lisa Apple Experiments by Grandpa was a Lion (December 4, 2011) *
For the last few months we’ve been following Brooklyn DIY group, Grandpa was a Lion. Now, more refined than ever, we are presented with a startling two track that combines the ever-lonesome folk acoustics we became familiar with early on with the more symphonic gestures of their following singles (which seem to have been compiled). Without using a single gimmick, Mona Lisa Apple Experiments, captures the very essence of soothing symphonic maturation.
‘Childish Untitled Poem #9. Not a Mirror’ by Grandpa Was a Lion (December 4, 2011) *
Apparently the melancholic acoustics of Justin D’Onofrio that introduced the Brooklyn group, Grandpa Was a Lion, were only the beginnings. Now we see the group taking more adventurous steps into more contemporary songtypes with more intuitive structures. ’Childish Untitled Poem #9. Not a Mirror’ is, largely, a long twisted string that, at times, develops but, for the most part, moves itself in a singular dance.
‘Back to the Future’ by Grandpa Was a Lion (November 20, 2011)
The newest single from Brooklyn’s Grandpa Was a Lion turns the song-writer into a producer with his new synth-pop, chillwave aesthetic. Showing a completely new side, Justin D’Onofrio proves himself adaptable and versatile. ’Back to the Future’ could either be a single experiment or a fresh direction for the artist.
‘Paris’ by Grandpa was a Lion (September 16, 2011)
‘Paris’, my favorite song off the latest GWAL album, is a memory jolt from a poet beginning each line with “Paris, you are…”. The continued metaphorical path is a rewarding one, filled with satisfying musical entrances and exits designed to whet the palette. What’s a song without a poet behind it? ’Paris’ not only correctly (and intimately) assesses a lyrical want, but puts the same care into its instrumentation as well (however sparse).
“the books we burned together
my morning whiskey bones
just a pretty voice now on the other end of the telephone ”
Seven Songs by Grandpa Was a Lion (September 18, 2011) *
Grandpa Was a Lion has a history of getting all acoustic and soft on us. They’ve been one of the tamest, most secure acts we’ve seen pass through the Dingus bookmarks list. But their new album, Seven Songs, brings warmth in the form of memorable hooks.
Archaic EP by Grandpa Was a Lion (July 19, 2011)
The latest EP from Grandpa Was a Lion is pure acoustic gold. Never have I heard music itself dwell, but that’s exactly what these chord progressions do. They build on themselves, wrapping the vocals nicely in a warm blanket. Not so much concerned with providing you a hook, Archaic looks more to evoke emotion, propel thought or condem tradition. With a dark aesthetic and a sinister tone, I am completely delighted by the sounds oozing out my headphones. (and yes, oozing is the only verb that properly describes these moments)