Highways and Backroads comes out May 31
Brandon Grafius is at the forefront of a new wave of folk revivalists, or maybe we should say folk preservationists? Really, Grafius has his own splendid signature laced through the rousing-yet-breezy arrangements on Highways and Backroads, a full-length album he’ll be releasing at the end of May.
Grafius is a Lansing based artist who has performed all over Michigan, joining lineups that included Michigander, Olivia Mainville & the Aquatic Troupe and Jared & The Mill. He’ll be performing two shows this weekend in Lansing… Here’s the lead single from Highways and Backroads… “Things Get Right”
Grafius has a subtly sweet vocal register, a mid-range croon and hum that softly interweaves its melodies with rich strums from his acoustic guitar. His songs often serve to bind up sprains of the soul from whatever weary troubles the world or relationships may have wrought and instill a restorative resolve–pushed on toward a figurative and literal horizon of amassing hopefulness, while still acknowledging the inevitability of some darkness.
And that propulsive vibe to his music is not just from the energy of his lyrical sentiments, but from the rhythms as well… …And that rhythm might come from a drum kit on some of his recordings, but it can also come from his playing style, an intricate winger-picking style on both guitar and banjo…or it may come from the tap of his wrist on the guitars body, his own feet tapping down on the stage.
Like Bathgate before him, Grafius seems to be deeply attuned to the energy of his surroundings, and crafty at finding poetic ways of putting his heart out on his lyrical sleeve in a language that sounds fresh and profound. In fact, Grafius studied poetry in his college days, and he’s been able to gain a wider perspective from time spent in California, as well as having been born in Oregon. Michigan, its ineffable energy, is constantly present in his mind and in his songs.
“This album is about place and about journeys,” Grafius said.” find that many of the songs are structured around the duality of feeling at home in a location, but knowing that it sometimes takes a long journey to get to a sense of at-home-ness.”
“Things Get Right” is the first single off his upcoming album, Highways and Backroads. It was recorded at Troubadour Studios (Lansing) and is due out May 11 on Lost Mitten Records.