Gryffin comes ‘Alive’ on two-year path to expansive sophomore album [Stream]

The road to Alive is officially complete. Almost three years ago to the day, the words “debut album” had lent themselves to a Gryffin resume that had begun in the early 2010s with a bundle of SoundCloud-hosted remixes that decisively put his name on the electronic map. And as time winds back up to present day, Gryffin has fittingly dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s on his long-awaited Gravity successor on the morning of what he deems to be the single most momentous showing of his career: a sold-out date with Los Angeles State Historic Park.But how we ultimately reached November 4 felt like a moment that’d been brewing a short while after Gravity. Even amid the world’s abrupt halt during the pandemic, there remained a steady stream of originals set loose in the time following his debut album, and there seemed to be an underlying sentiment—especially when he alluded to a “new chapter” in late 2021—that another full-length Gryffin project was always going to be a matter of if, not when. Little did we know that Gryffin had already begun planting the Alive seeds exactly a year after Gravity and two years prior to its eventual landing. And “Safe With Me” with Audrey Mika would become the first of 11 pre-album deliveries—with 17 total tracks making up the Alive index—beside “Best Is Yet To Come” (with Kyle Reynolds), “You Were Loved” (with OneRepublic), “Alive” (with Calle Lehmann), “Caught Up” (with Olivia O’Brien), “Reckless” (with ), “Colors” (with Blanke and Eyelar), “Woke Up In Love” (with Kygo and Calum Scott), “Scandalous” (with Tinashe), and the “Tie Me Down” follow-up with Elley Duhé, “Forever.”Alive‘s rollout takes a near-identical path to Gravity, gradually giving a sizable chunk of the album a deserved moment in the spotlight and allowing listeners to properly digest Gryffin’s vision in a piece-by-piece format. And on release day, there’s still six productions—seven for those that hadn’t gotten a chance to hear “Forever” yet—left to turn over on streaming platforms, with the spine-tingling opening from his album tour’s live sets expectedly guiding the way before seamlessly fades into the title track. And while there’s still plenty to be said about each and every one of Gryffin’s Alive previews, we’ll put a pause on that to touch upon the unfamiliar corner of the album.If Alive‘s feature lineup hadn’t already been overflowing with unions that bear an A-list branding, its tracklist is sees the likes of Matt Maeson, salem ilese, Au-Ra, and Maia Wright stand by fellow vocal collaborators like OneRepublic, MØ, Tinashe, and more. And those first two names—respectively displayed on “Lose Your Love” and “Glitch In the Simulation—lyrically back Gryffin’s subtle foray into drum ‘n’ bass, a side of dance music that he’d never really looked towards before. Then comes “Evergreen” with Au-Ra. And those that follow Dancing Astronaut in any capacity on social media are likely well aware that this was the Alive cut we’d been longing for the most following its grand unveiling at Bonnaroo and subsequent appearance during his first true tour date at The Brooklyn Mirage, and its official form justifies why. And the concluding part of the fresh Alive additions sees a second Gravity reunion take place, with Gryffin and Maia Wright giving “Body Back” a worthy sequel just as “Tie Me Down” had received the week prior. From track one all the way down to track 17, Alive takes a natural, effortless leap from where Gryffin creatively stood three years ago on Gravity. It leaves any and all stylistic expectations at the door, with Gryffin both keeping true to his recognizable melodic form while also weaving in and out of genres that include everything from melodic bass to dance-pop to house to drum ‘n’ bass. Stream all of Gryffin’s long-awaited sophomore album below. Featured image: Juliana BernsteinTags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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