While taking some time from touring and promoting theband's first album Hemispheres (2012), Florida's Alexander& the Grapes began collecting as much recording equipmentas they could find. Those twelve months ultimately resultedin their own home studio, affectionately called Yoko Phono.
Friend, engineer and producer Jeremy Mendicino (of Boston'sPretty & Nice) was flown down to Florida to help the bandrecord 2016's Hyper Self out of the fifty plus songs thathad been written. Almost gone, but certainly not forgotten,is the band's original playing field of insurgent countryand Americana. In its place, the Grapes explore newterritory and influences, particularly 1990s indie andgarage rock with a fair share of sonic psychedelicsoundscapes. While on tour, the band had listened to everygenre of 90s music from Pavement to Pac, elements of whichimpacted the album’s sound.
Singer and chief-songwriter Alexander says “the songs aretrimmed down and the arrangements are more focused. Iwanted to make the songs themselves more streamlined, butfor the record as a whole to go all over the place andreally feel like a journey weaving from bad trip tonirvana. We didn’t set out to make anything specific, butwe walked away with a psyched-out party record that’sterribly introspective, blissfully paranoid, andpessimistically hopeful.”
Conceptually, the record tackles the existential notion ofthe self, as well as the control, or potential lackthereof, that we have in the spaces we inhabit. Deeplycomplex and profoundly simple logics complement each otherthroughout the record, both lyrically and sonically. It isan intimate exploration of what it is to be human,fallible, genuine, and alive.
“In many ways we feel like this is our first record.Everything we’ve put out to this point feels like lookingfor your keys in the dark. Hyper Self is the first timewe’ve actually known where we wanted to take this bandmusically. When you feel free, musically and mentally, thesongs come with ease. Like you can hear the whole songbefore you write it.”
released May 6, 2016
released May 6, 2016
ENGINEERED BY J. MENDICINO
RECORDED AT YOKO PHONO
MIXED AT THE TANK STUDIO
MASTERED BY JEFF LIPTON AT PEERLESS MASTERING
ASSISTANT MASTERING ENGINEER MARIA RICE
COVER: ALEXANDER CHAROS
BACK COVER: CODY CLARK
PRODUCED BY J. MENDICANT AND ALEXANDER & THE GRAPES
MUSIC AND LYRICS BY ALEXANDER CHAROS
ALEXANDER CHAROS: VOCALS, GUITAR, BASS, KEYS
PHILIP CHAROS: DRUMS, PERCUSSION, BASS, KEYS
CHASE SWAN: GUITAR, STEEL GUITAR
J. MENDICINO: BASS, GUITAR, PERCUSSION