Friday, March 16, 2012

Andy Gruhin Inks Deal with Sony/ATV

I'm stoked today to bring you guys some news that will knock you fucking over. Andy Gruhin has been a presence on NewRockNews43 since 2010, just after I started writing. He's one of the first artists I discovered, and one whose career I have followed through his two releases, and now up to the amazing news he announced at the start of this week. Gruhin went on record with me a day ago, saying that he has just concluded talks with and signed a publishing deal with Sony/ATV.

Andy Gruhin

Gruhin released his first EP, World Out There, in the summer of 2010. The recording was the result of just four days in the studio (almost unheard of for the sort of production it boasts), and featured full-band versions of the title track, "Higher," "Little Piece of Summer," "Short and Beautiful," and the epic track (and Gruhin's own self-described anthem), "Sore Losers." The EP also included as a special bonus track a diamond-in-the-rough song that had been my favorite Gruhin track since I was lucky enough to hear a skeletal version of it about a year prior. The acoustically stripped-down track "Without My Wings" was (as far as I was concerned) a sign of things to come. While "World Out There" and "Higher" boasted high-octane guitar riffs and addictive drum fills, "Without My Wings" showcased a different side of Gruhin's artistic abilities. The guitar riff was simple, yet what drew me in form the first finger-pluck were the lyrics; "Lack of liquor broke my heart with a thud" are words every lover can relate to as they pen a retrospective love song, pouring over the letters that were sent and received months ago. And as the chorus is reached and crescendos, the piano and female backup vocals give the track an ethereal quality that makes it an unforgettable song, and one of Gruhin's best pieces, acoustic or otherwise. But the acoustic version was only the beginning for this song.

Andy Gruhin's first EP, World Out There

In the summer of 2011, Gruhin followed up World Out There with Let the Darkness Grow!, an EP so unapologetically brash and edgy that it stands out in ways other artists wish they could achieve. On the new EP were a slew of new songs, but I was immediately drawn to a rerecorded full-band version of "Without My Wings." I wasn't disappointed. I was blown back from second one as Gruhin's guitar exploded from the speakers, and his new anthemic vocals replaced the breathy whispers of the acoustic version. To join the new vocal arrangements and energy was a blasting rhythm section, and a note progression that Gruhin inserted just after the second verse, the latter of which still sends chills down my spine. My pick for the lead-single of the EP, "Without My Wings" has been on constant rotation on my college radio show Underground Takeover, and regularly draws thousands of listeners every week looking for new underground music. Along with the newly recorded version of "Without My Wings" were the high-energy tracks "The Fairest," "Wasted Words," "Under My Skin," and the power balled "I'll Follow You," as well as the title track. If World Out There was a solid hit for Gruhin, on Let the Darkness Grow! Gruhin hit it out of the park.

Andy Gruhin's second EP, Let the Darkness Grow! 

Yet as brilliant as the first two EP's were, during our last conversation, Gruhin let drop the comment that, "the material I'm writing now will make the first EP's look like shit." On the eve of inking a publishing contract with Sony/ATV, Gruhin stated that the new material he's working on will make the long wait worth it. "The first EP was only four days in the studio," Gruhin said, "and the second was only about seven. For the next recording, I hope to be able to spend more time so that I can really get the best versions of my songs on it. I'm also looking to do a music video, so I'm trying to see about that as well."
Gruhin has clearly made a full leap forward, but I still can't wait to see what happens next for him. From Gruhin I heard that new material is certainly in the works, and that he'll be working on sharpening his writing skills so that his next release will be his best yet. I have an interview with Gruhin in the works, so keep checking back, because you don't want to miss any of this! I knew it was only a matter of time until Andy Gruhin blew up, and NewRockNews43 is going to be there every step of the way as he takes off. In Gruhin's own words, the feeling behind the new opportunities on the horizon is simple: "I'm just excited to have this opportunity and I'm ready to show the world what I can do." 

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