Rarest of Birds

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An American-Swedish combo who built their sound on a combination of shimmering electro-infused pop and California desertscape folk-rock, Grizfolk have been operating in the mainstream fringes since the viral success of their 2012 debut single "The Struggle." Quickly snatched up by Virgin Records, they were put on the major-label diet of singles and EPs for a few years leading up to their 2016 full-length, Waking Up the Giants. Based in Los Angeles, singer/guitarist Adam Roth, guitarist Frederik Eriksson, keyboardist Sebastian Fritze, and drummer Bill Delia have spent much of the last half-decade on the road supporting their relatively brief catalog, establishing themselves as hard-touring festival favorites with a consistent presence on the streaming platforms. Released this time by Nettwerk, 2019's Rarest of Birds is their sophomore album and sees the quartet honing their sound with amiable pop-driven songwriting, a laid-back summertime feel, and an overall subdued tone that sometimes recalls classic '70s soft rock. Downplaying the more electronic elements of their early work, highlights like "Believing," "Pretty Penny," and the title cut show some creative growth as Grizfolk dial in on a more organic style that seems to suit them. Their brand of mellow rock is nicely put together with solid studio craft and a bouquet of decent hooks that poke out without making too much of a fuss. While the overall impression is somewhat unobtrusive, even bordering at times on bland, Rarest of Birds has an undeniable windows-down feel that would make it a reliable road trip companion, particularly where trees are few and horizons open.

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