As college students, living in a city like D.C. during the summer is great: we have constant access to incredible restaurants, concerts, art galleries, rooftop pool parties and, aside from our obligatory unpaid internships, very little holding us back from constantly indulging in any and all of these opportunities. It’s easy to get wrapped up in this world of $2 PBR happy hours and mirage-producing city streets and forget that there is a world out there where nature extends beyond the manmade realms of Roosevelt Island and the National Zoo.
Every once in a while though, when I can’t stand the thought of watching another tourist stuff a Georgetown Cupcake in her sweaty toddler’s mouth after they both waited three hours in the 100-degree-plus-humidity line of equally fat, sweaty tourists, I can’t help but think, you know what DC? I love you, but you’re bringing me down. On days like this, with the weekend so close yet so far, I’ve started looking for songs that allow me to transcend the confines of the city without having to use up any valuable vacation days.
Former Music Board Director and Overall Good Guy Igor German (of Abditum fame) recently turned me onto Grand Child, an Austin-based folk music project who have been around for a few years but are as of yet unsigned, and who totally get my need to live vicariously through people sitting around with their friends in the woods, jamming on mandolins and painting each others’ faces. After accidentally wandering into a venue in Texas where the scheduled headliner bailed and Grand Child stepped in to fill the spot, Igor fell in star-crossed love. Good Guy that he is, Igor came back from the dead (shout out Georgetown University Class of 2011!) to share his find with us and we’ve been spinning them ever since.
Grand Child’s strength lies in that they manage to be nostalgic without being trite, hip without being obnoxious, and sunny without being saccharine. When I’m straight flippin’ copies or I feel particularly oppressed by The Man, I can close my eyes, let the melody from whatever obscure string instrument they’ve got going on wash over me and for the moment I can smell the s’mores, feel the flora-filtered light, and return from my four-minute sojourn refreshed and ready to take on the City again.
– Emma Forster