Grand Lotus’s The Vibrant Migrant Exudes Summer Nostalgia

Grand Lotus’s The Vibrant Migrant Exudes Summer Nostalgia

On their first project in two years, Grand Lotus offers the perfect soundtrack to the summer you wish you were having.

Today marks the release of The Vibrant Migrant, a six-track EP released independently by the Tampa-based four-piece Grand Lotus, made up of Brandon Giorlando, Carlito Algarin, Elijah Noblitt, and Russell Goodman. It’s their first project in two years, following two EPs and two singles, “Jada” and “Hangover”. The latter actually already held a spot on my playlist already (which prompted an audible, “Ohhh, it’s those guys!” upon listening). It’s soon to be joined by these latest additions off of what I assert to be their most successful project yet.

Joining forces in high school and quickly cultivating a devoted local following, Grand Lotus preserves elements of nostalgia held so dearly amongst the alternative fanbase. Apropos of the group’s Floridian roots, a Grand Lotus tune is bursting with garage-meets-surf-rock goodness complete with glitzy guitar and chilled melodies. Their songs are fitting for any summer playlist (but more specifically – from a past summer before you had responsibilities apart from going to the beach).

In late May, the group teased the upcoming project with the release of a single package featuring “Haze” and “Signs”. Doubling as the EP’s opener, “Haze” is a clear and immediate highlight with fervent melodies cascading into a serenely winding falsetto that showcases frontman Russell Goodman’s vocal capacity. This, coupled with pop-infused sonics, is reminiscent of Bad Suns and packed with memories of a coastal adolescence.

The EP departs momentarily from brightly-colored melodies to explore an alternate perspective of introspection on “Signs”. Its release alongside “Haze” exemplifies the dichotomy and range Grand Lotus is capable of encompassing. Strings and bittersweet riffs underscore a feeling I can best compare to the hour after the sun goes down and the daytime crowds disperse (“As the world grows colder”), leaving you alone with your thoughts. It’s not devastating or overwhelming (“Don’t really mind it at all”), but rather ruminating and longing. Lyrics, “Just want to feel alright, I want to feel alive / Would love to get on track, just want to reach the sky” follow the refrain, “I don’t feel at home”, conveying a reassuring sense of hope amidst endless uncertainty.

Immediately following “Signs” is the closing track of The Vibrant Migrant, “Bon Voyage”, which carries a similar desperation to move forward, this time in the context of a breakup. The track’s title effectively embodies the singer’s unaffected sentiment in the face of heartbreak, and the lyricism complements this reclamation of self-assurance:  

“What, what more can I say
You’ve broken my heart
In more than one place
Learned, I’ve learned the hard way
Been down on my luck
But today’s a new day” 

In our modern age where digital access to music is limitless, it’s especially easy for a sound meandering between the indie and alternative genres to fall stagnant in a saturated market. What differentiates Grand Lotus’s sonography, however, is a seamless marriage of vocal prolificacy and captivating guitar riffs (I don’t think I’ll ever tire of raw, unadulterated electric guitar). The Vibrant Migrant is the alt-rock outfit’s latest and most effective showcase of just that, from the chilled, contemplative melodies of “Signs” and “Confetti” to the impassioned fervor of “The Feeling” and “Move!”. Despite still being relatively new to the music scene, 24k and counting Spotify listeners suggest an ever-growing audience and a longevity for this group that I’m eager to witness.

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