Born and raised in Colorado, Denver’s Ethan Griggs has been playing in the local music scene since he was just 15. The success of his first project, Youth In Conflict, propelled Griggs and his bandmates into a number of shows around the state, and even garnered the attention of Ryan Tedder (OneRepublic), who called Griggs’ work “instinctive”. After entering the Denver School of the Arts, Griggs turned his attention to Clusterfolk, an outfit of theatre punks and musicians that played music on just about any instrument and object they could find. Clusterfolk actually went on to play the Bluebird and the Gothic, and Isaac Slade (The Fray) once called their sound “drunk, but in the best way possible”. Most recently though, Griggs has been focusing on a solo release, which BolderBeat is stoked to premiere for you today:
Listen to Ethan Griggs’ debut solo EP, Transient:
Transient is five tracks of in-your-ear tastiness. Recorded DIY lo-fi in Griggs’ bedroom and basement over the past two years, Transient gives us a real look into what Griggs is capable of in his solo career. Griggs described the album as, “filtered through the psychedelic sounds of original groups like The Beatles… as well as the sludgy-neurosis of modern groups like Deerhunter and Tame Impala”. Still, it’s evident on Transient that Griggs has managed to create a work all his own, with a psych-mashup of buzzy guitar riffs, reverb-drenched vocals, powerful percussive builds, and songwriting that you find yourself listening to intently without even trying.
“I am so glad to finally share this piece of work,” said Griggs, “There’s a lot of my own personality and my own reality in this record, and I’m excited for people to get to know me better through it.”
Transient was mastered by Corban Roberts at Tessitura Studios, and though Griggs did everything else himself on this release, he does have a band for live performances. Known as Ethan Griggs + Sonder Ensemble, Griggs’ live group features Sam Beard on bass and Seth Cross on drums while Griggs takes on vocals, lead guitar, and piano.
Griggs managed to stretch Transient into almost 30 minutes in just five tunes, but you won’t even notice. “Transient”, the title track, opens the record with an instrumental build that slowly envelopes Griggs’ trancey vocals with a catchy, melodic chorus. From there, you’ll find yourself caught in the swells of his sounds on “High Tempered” and you’ll question whether or not “Snowsun” is a hidden track on Sung Tongs that you somehow missed. Though there a couple of rough vocal patches on “Mind Gardening Girl”, this track will still transport you into a world of warm 70s vibes that you’re not sure you want to leave. And “Sun Still Shines” feels like The Beach Boys are playing underwater somewhere at a party you’re wandering through while you drink rainbows and crush on your date from afar. Take the trip already. Listen to Transient.
Transient, which will stream exclusively on BolderBeat for the next week, will be released for digital download Friday, September 30th here. Following that, Griggs has plans for a CD Release Show at the end of the month, which we will announce once there is more information.
Make sure to check out this inventive Colorado artist, and keep up with all things Ethan Griggs on his website.
All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.