Grand Rapids: Faintheartedness
By Shaun Chait
Formerly a leading jockey with Goldenhorse, Ben King steps out from the stable for the second time with a new moniker – Grand Rapids. Loading the house band up with the likes of Andrew Keoghan and Gareth Thomas for good measure, this time King is giving ‘Faintheartedness’ a proper release (having brought it into this world as a limited edition wonder previously). I might add it’s also available on vinyl. I enjoyed, but didn’t love, Goldenhorse, and I say this to put the rest of this review into context. To cut to the chase – this is a contender for end of year Best Of lists, hands down, and is certainly in the top few albums I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing so far this year. Dripping in the language of music, King and cohorts have dished up an experimental, synthy indie pop masterpiece. Groove, melody and realness ooze from its pores, the Grand Rapids themselves threatening to burst with ideas. The Men On The Horses bounces forth, its rollicking nature cut off by the fragile, almost precarious Singing Showers Golden Lights. Never Be Without You with it's ’80s synth-inspired pop crashes straight into hit single territory, while elsewhere King trumps on Black River with its lyrical repetition or the somewhat epic I Keep Dreaming Of You. A classy, engaging listen. In fact a must listen.