While nepotism in Hollywood continues to give the questionably talented mainstream opportunities, it really doesn’t exist like that within the music industry. Like, if a performer’s truly not up to snuff, a familial claim to fame ultimately won’t get them all that far. Case in point, son of iconic rock ‘n’ roll photographer Bob Gruen, Kris Gruen, whose childhood exposure to turn-of-the-’80s NYC counterculture legends actually sent him on an impressive path of self-worth, one that eventually found him rubbing elbows with some of those same greats.
Beginning with his 2007 debut Lullaby School, Kris Gruen has been bolstering his delicate brand of Americana and indie folk. Gruen’s momentum really took off between 2018’s Coast & Refuge and 2021’s Welcome Farewell; he’s since had the pleasure of touring internationally alongside KUTX favorites Chuck Prophet and Alejandro Escovedo. Now, Gruen is ushering in June with his sixth full-length In Bloom.
Sure the LP features a cover of The Clash classic “Bankrobber” – a tasteful tie-in with Gruen’s star-charmed childhood, but the record also blossoms with some of his finest songwriting work to date. And ahead of In Bloom‘s release next Friday, Kris Gruen’s given us one more early look at what to expect; harvesting what started as a basic sketch penned by Mascott/Juicy frontwoman Kendall Jane Meade one idyllic LA afternoon, “Heaven On A Car Ride“ just pulled up. Along with its music video, “Heaven On A Car Ride” is an indie folk embrace like a sonic seatbelt, a soothing hug of harmony and soft acoustic strumming. Either way, shotgun seat’s all yours.
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