album: GN - Ratboys
There's something surreal about being granted the ability to tell and hear the stories of others, along with sharing your own tales of living. The fact that one opens up to you or you uncover this entire piece of history and can carry it with you forever is a really beautiful thing. On Ratboys' GN, the band does both, weaving carefully orchestrated stories of real life happenings and historical occurrences. While the band is often cryptic and mysterious with their lyrical content we know from a previous interview with Julia Steiner that they often take inspiration from random Wikipedia article finds, including on "Crying About the Planets" which details a well known historic ice expedition. The track is also the album's most furious, rolling out over six minutes with deliberate pacing, poignant instrumentals from bandmates Dave Sagan and Danny Lyons, and Steiner's careful whisper. It's a moment that commands your attention, a turning point in an album that's one of the most striking we've heard all year.
As a whole, GN feels adventuresome and secretive, as if you're packed tight in the tour van with the band, watching the world pass by through car windows, moving in slow motion. You're able to listen in as they share their love for the "Westside" with beautiful grace and reflect back on "The Record" of their life with quiet subtly and strings that blossom and explode into something sweeping and unforgettable. GN is marked with an unmistakable twang, a band that's unafraid to wear a modern-day country influence on its sleeve and turn it into a genre entirely of its own. So often it can feel like we're in a rush to do everything; even to forget the worst and best parts of what we experience and GN is a reminder to soak it all in — even the history and stories that aren't your own.