Grand Vapids Return with Eat The Shadow on July 12, 2019
Share “Disjecta” Music Video
Announce East Coast Tour Dates with Axxa/Abraxas
Produced by David Barbe (The Glands, Drive-By Truckers, Sugar) and tracked live at Athens’ Chase Park Transduction, the 9-track set is a long-awaited follow-up to their 2015 debut Guarantees, which Stereogum called “instrumentally lush, understated indie rock.”Consequence of Sound praised, “[N]othing is ever hurried, and each moving part feels defined and purposeful,” and Impose added, “A sledgehammer to the gut hit of deconstructed self-agonizing anguish…strikes you in your most vulnerable spot.” The album landed Grand Vapids on Paste Magazine’s “25 Georgia Bands You Should Listen To Now” and saw them share stages with Ought, Pile, Fred Thomas, T. Hardy Morris, and Pure Bathing Culture. While Guarantees proved a perfect postcard from the time when they were fresh and lean and full of nothing but beginner’s hope, nearly half a decade later Eat the Shadow presents a band that has resurfaced after dark years of coping with personal tragedy, identity crisis, and dysfunctional relationships.
While Guarantees proved a perfect postcard from the time when they were fresh and lean and full of nothing but beginner’s hope, nearly half a decade later Eat the Shadow presents a band that has resurfaced after dark years of coping with personal tragedy, identity crisis, and dysfunctional relationships. The album opener, “Disjecta,” was inspired by the latter, serving as catharsis for two partners in the midst of breaking up while still living together and attempting to rediscover their respective identities. The track’s slacker-rock vibes project the sense of foreboding that accompanies feeling isolated in a relationship that is consuming you. It is one of a group of songs on Eat the Shadow — along with album tracks “Shallow,” “Creature Strain,” and “Drowning” — that each capture different periods of a long cycle of dissolution and unraveling. The band shared the video for “Disjecta” with an announcement of the forthcoming LP. It was shot and directed by bassist Patrick Morales and can be viewed below.
When Grand Vapids appeared on the Athens music scene a mere fistful of years ago, the group’s blurry tales of emotional intensity drew listeners in like hungry wolves. Then, at some indeterminate point, the wolves took over and started pushing and pulling in all directions. Coupled with the band’s own internal clockwork going awry, everything seemed to slowly limp to the pace of a broken heartbeat. Every new move felt like a false start, while each step seemed like forever. The first sessions for Eat the Shadow LP took place in the midst of all this, while the band was still bursting out of its starting blocks yet already feeling the beginnings of disillusionment. After dumping the results of these initial recordings, they regrouped into clearer realms of focus with the help of Barbe and what happened between band and producer is, in no uncertain terms, the sound of rebirth. It’s not a gentle sense of being born again into grace but a retaking of the reigns with one’s teeth full of grit; not a sense of ascendence so much as a clawing upward. This is as true for the rational, earth-bound details of the album’s production as it is for the emotional-sphere and depth of its songwriting.
The songs on Eat the Shadow were written during very personal and difficult times. They tackle themes of identity, self-worth, mental health, and coping with reality. But ultimately, the album’s arc is one of isolation, reconciliation, acceptance, and an underlying optimism of letting go and moving forward. “The story of the album title Eat the Shadow comes from a sibylline moment I experienced shortly after my brother died,” says guitarist and lead singer Austin Harris. “I was sitting in a cafe in Atlanta on my way to volunteer for a summer at an intentional community. I was there eating lunch alone and an older gentleman stared into me and just said: ‘I can see your sadness and you have to eat the shadow.’ It was a powerful moment that has stuck with me, and I think it serves this collection of songs well. In spite of all the setbacks and disappointments, you have to release the ego and ‘Eat the Shadow.’”
Grand Vapids On Tour with Axxa/Abraxas:
April 25 — Caledonia Lounge — Athens, GA*
April 26 — Eighth State Brewing — Greenville, SC+
April 27 — Mothlight — Asheville, NC^
April 28 — Trees Lounge — Richmond, VA#
April 29 — Galaxy Hut — Arlington, VA~
May 2 — PIANOS — New York, NY
May 3 — The Stone Church — Brattleboro, VT
May 5 — Neptunes — Raleigh, NC**
*(w/ Annie Leeth)
+(w/ April B and the Cool, Courteous Monk)
^(w/ Knives & Daggers, Hug)
#(w/ J Clyde Morris, Andy)
~(w/ Pagan Reagan)
** (w/ The Medium)