Thursday, February 25, 2010

Andy Gruhin's World Out There

It's been over a week since my last post, and I know you're all salivating at the mouth for another star-studded artist poised for commercial explosion. That's why I present to you today a guy who's music is sick, and sounds like nothing else out there. The fact that he also happens to be one of my very good friends just makes it sweeter.
Andy Gruhin hails from Maryland originally, but is currently based in Syracuse, New York. Andy and I met halfway around the world, while we were both on a three-month trip in Israel. Bonding over strong influences like Bruce Sprinsteen and The E Street Band and Goo Goo Dolls would have been enough for me and Andy to become good friends. But when he showed me some of his rough cuts of his own material on his iPod, I was totally shocked at the fact that they sounded so incredible. Despite his insistence that they were only rough drafts of what was soon to come, they sounded great and showed enormous potential.
So now that you know the back story, let me continue this is the way you all came here to read. This is a world exclusive, as Andy just released his debut EP World Out There just a few days ago, so be sure to check his music out to be ahead of the sure-to-come curve. Normally, I would have jumped on the opportunity to write about the EP the hour after it came out, but Andy thought it best to see what listeners thought before hyping it, and judging by the climbing numbers of plays of the songs, they love it. So let's get to it already. The first song of his EP I listen to shows just how he's poised to take over every city from New York to L.A. "World Out There" is a brilliant mix of resonating guitars and grand arena-rock drums and bass rhythms sections. The overall composition is sound and solid, and provides a perfect base for the sharp but melodic guitar notes and progressions. The cherry on the cake though, as in all of his songs, is Andy's voice. From all of my music knowledge and comparisons, I can honestly say that Andy's vocals sound like no one else's I've ever heard. There's no mistaking who's singing, and that's Andy's greatest asset, as just on this first song, he drives a divider between himself and everyone else. If that wasn't enough to sell the song though, maybe the slick and polished guitar solo will do it for you. Blasting the song to all-new heights, the guitar solo is shining and amazing, and clocking it at just over four minutes and thirty seconds, this is a perfect lead-off single. An amazing first track to listen to, and clearly a five-star track if ever there was one. No contest.
The second song for me is "Little Piece of Summer." I got a sneak-preview of this one as with "World Out There" in Israel, but this cut is so far-flung from that one that I'm totally speechless. Now don't get me wrong, because like I said before, the cuts I heard in Israel were greats starts, but these, these are fully-fledged breakthrough singles. "Little Piece of Summer" is a magnificent blend of incredible acoustic guitar and smooth, romantic vocals. Like in all his songs, Andy exhibits here just how much of an amazing writer he is with brilliant images and incredible lyrics. If there was a ballad on the EP, this is it, and even if there are two, this is definitely one of them. This song's brilliance lies in the fact that it's beautifully simple and easy. With a hard-hitting impact, this is clearly one of the best tracks on the album, and I can honestly say it's one of my new favorite songs for this week.
The next track I listen to is "Higher," a fast-paced song that starts my pulse pounding from second one and takes off on the back of a great drum beat and strong, thumping bass line. The rhythm section is particularly tight here, and only serves to further the message of the song. That message, though, is brought to full realization with Andy's imagery-laden lyrics and smooth, supple vocals. The guitar is scaled back a bit, and Andy's voice is front and center, driving the song higher and higher. I guess the title is simply an adjective for the song, because that's the feeling you get from it. With words and a vocal melody you can sing along to, "Higher" is one of the more introspective and emotional tracks on the album. It's an amazing song, and one I'm definitely better for for listening to. Amazing.
Usually I don't review more than three tracks. I do sometimes, but I try to stay away from it lest it be argued I'm trying to exert my influence on your guys opinions. But this track, I just couldn't stop myself from talking about here, so just suck it up and listen. "Without My Wings" was the last track I listened to (actually a bonus track on the album), and it was amazing. That's the best thing I could say about it: that it was just amazing. With lyrics like which I can only hope to one day be able to write, and an unbelievable melody, "Without My Wings" shines in ways that few songs do to me these days. The gentle backing vocals and piano behind Andy's voice and guitar push this one over the edge, and I see no way this won't be all over every station from here to Kalamazoo, as this will be the song of the year for emotion and romance. As with "Little Piece of Summer,"Without My Wings" is a bright ballad on the album, and just makes Andy's resume shine.
I'm going to stop myself from telling you guys anymore, because you just gotta hear this stuff for yourself. Go, right now. Listen to Andy's stuff, because once you do, you're going to be addicted to no end. I guarantee it.

Sounds Like: Goo Goo Dolls, Third Eye Blind, Lifehouse, John Mayer, Elliot Smith

Key Tracks from World Out There: "World Out There," "Little Piece of Summer" "Higher," "Without My Wings"

Check out Andy Gruhin more at: and!/pages/Andy-Gruhin/183820836089?ref=search&sid=1125090129.3660412306..1

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