Grass House – inside outsider pop

June 2013

There are few more disposable things than an independent band in London, and few less common characteristics of that independent band than patience, intellect and humbleness. That’s why I’m very much in love with Grass House.

At a time when style is often mistaken for substance –and vice versa – it’s refreshing to come across a group that merges substance with style, looks exactly the way they are and care enough not to care about sugar coating. And does it while slouching on stage in slightly weary t-shirts and paint-stained trousers. (The paint stains are unintentional.)

They are influenced by and echo of the likes of Tom Waits and Captain Beefheart, with a touch of Johnny Cash and Brian Eno. Their sound is ostensibly gloomy at times but if you listen carefully, it depicts genuine charm, warmth and humour, which have grown rare in the cold and image-conscious music industry.

And it’s intellectual, to the extent that I don’t dare to list their literature and poetry references. But fear not, they welcome you to the daunting world of abstract expressionism and outsider art with open arms. They are as outsiders as every one of us sometimes feels – maybe that is why their music and visual aesthetics are not only beautiful and inspiring but strangely comforting as well.

Outsider pop, as the band themselves would say, that has a childlike essence where the thoughts and sounds comes from somewhere much simpler inside the unconscious than the exhausted conscious.

From the very first moment I saw them in the half-empty, dingy Macbeth a little over three years ago, until today, when their uncompromising attitude towards creativity and down-to-earth stance has brought the band slowly but surely towards bigger things; I’m firmly very much in love with them. More than I used to, less than I believe I will be.

Part of me hope they will never make it too big, so I can keep this affair to myself. Then again, if there’s a band that will not change face when hit by success, or lose an inch of their soul to the devil called fame, it is Grass House.

I’m not worried.

(Grass House’s new single And Now For The Wild will be out on the 25th of June)

 

Words by MARIA KIVIMAA