Thursday, June 15, 2023

CD Review //
Underwear/Nick Grunerud
"The Best Wing of the Psyche Ward"


https://nickgrunerud.bandcamp.com/album/the-best-wing-of-the-psyche-ward


The introduction to this CD lets us know that it was from a live performance coming out of the pandemic and I think we all have those stories of "the first ___ I went to after 2020", so it's kind of neat that Nick Grunerud has this show recorded in historic fashion.   Appropriately enough, this begins with a song called "Been a Long Time" which has the vocals sampled and looped, drum machine electronics and shaking percussion.   There are also some strong piano keys in here.

In the third song, Nick Grunerud discusses all of the many times that he went to the emergency room and if you didn't know that the United States has a healthcare problem then you're going to be into an even bigger shock hearing all of this.   I also enjoy that there is this beeping like you'd hear in a hospital behind this song.   "Molasses" is about moving slow while "I need it for my Blood" is about not sleeping enough.  

On the final song we have these great beats and keys, while also singing about the psyche ward itself.   Back in 2021 when this was recorded I wasn't quite out of the pandemic myself but if I was at this show I definitely would've given a "woo!" when Nick Grunerud asked if anyone else had ever been to the psyche ward.    It feels like something which also needs to be talked about more because there is nothing wrong with asking for help and if you need it, you should seek it.

The CD ends with applause and I can't help but wonder if when the crowd started chanting "Underwear" someone was walking by outside wondering what exactly was going on inside.  It makes for an interesting name for sure, a memorable one, and of all the things happening right now in the Connecticut music scene I'm really glad that Nick Grunerud is a part of it because this is truly just such a special project that borders the lines between blues, jazz and electronics.  








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