The vast majority of songwriters are…just…well…song writers. That is, their ability to convey emotion or tell a story is strictly restricted to lyric and melody. So while we won’t detract from those who navigate that task masterfully, we also gotta pay dues to the multidisciplinary folks who single-handedly offer a “fuller” package.
Take Aiden Berglund for example. A quick glimpse at the artwork for his dispersed discography tips you off to a well-calculated aesthetic, maybe even more so than the song titles themselves. And that’s because Berglund independently helms each aspect of his Berlin-based project Grimson, from the words and music all the way to a distinctive visual style full of woolly things, crowns of kings, and ominously ethereal scenery. And although an artist designing their own graphics in an era when access to photoshop and its derivatives comes at the click of a button isn’t nearly as impressive as it was pre-millennium…it’s this next part that blows our mind; when Berglund launched Grimson in the spring of 2021, he began bringing that growing cast of characters to life through animation, thereby establishing a multi-media brand, not just a musical one.
Comparing the level of care and dedication required for that type of craft with the, simple, patronymic approach to his handle (literally as his father Grim’s next of kin) can be funny at first, but that’s when you actually start grasping Grimson’s strongest asset – his music. Grimson’s moving indie rock originals engulf the raw emotions of Elliott Smith and chronicle a gradual maturation of Berglund’s passions from late teens through early twenties – all recorded in the humble confines of a bedroom. After soaking up his ten existing singles, there’s certain to be no soot clogging up Grimson’s debut full-length Climbing Up The Chimney, out Friday, September 1st.
Also, huge kudos to Berglund for his willingness to pass the animation tablet off to Yana Pan on Climbing Up The Chimney‘s latest lead look and listen, “Round Trip Ticket”. In doing so, Grimson’s melancholy universe opens up even further, fitting for a track whose the expansive orchestral arrangement orbits Berglund’s bittersweet singing. So even though this beautiful new tune is already paired with visuals, we wouldn’t be surprised if “Round Trip Ticket” popped up in a film/TV/commercial soundtrack sometime soon.
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