High Dive Heart – Grunge Lullaby

Look, let’s all be real for a second here. While some of us will rage well into our middle aged selves and beyond, many of us begin to slow down as we move into different phases of our lives. Those of us whose formative years took place through the ’90s, and even the early 2000s, remember the glory days of grunge and alternative rock. Rock and roll from that specific era has an interesting place in the world today, seeing as those of us who heard those songs for the first time as brand new radio hits are now professionals, business owners and (yes, I will dare to go there) downright upstanding members of society. We still live for the messages that seeped through those grand tunes, but alas, we have become somewhat aged. We feel youth in our hearts, but our bodies and minds tell us that we are craving a new take on one of rock & roll’s greatest eras… and in comes High Dive Heart with an absolutely breathtaking re-imagination of some of the greatest songs of the grunge era. The beauty of these recordings, performed by the duo of Jason Reeves and Nelly Joy, breathes new life into the music and will bring even the most stubborn, hardcore fans to their knees.

High Dive Heart – “Smells Like Teen Spirit”

Think of the Grunge era, and a few iconic elements come to mind: angry guitars, angst-ridden laments, well-worn flannel shirts. But strip away the rage and rebellion, and what you’re left with are classic songs with unique, timeless melodies and meaningful, poetic lyrics. Those are the elements that husband-and-wife duo High Dive Heart bring to the fore on their new album, Grunge Lullaby, unearthing these iconic rockers’ meditative core from beneath layers of raucous noise.

Make no mistake: Grunge Lullaby (released June 16, 2017) is no kids’ album. It’s intended for listeners whose cocaine-fueled youth has ripened into a marijuana-mellowed maturity. For a generation whose formative years have been spent shouting along to Nirvana or Smashing Pumpkins, these songs still resonate – but the blistering volume and furious energy can feel like overkill given the frenetic pace of modern life.

 

At the heart of Grunge Lullaby are the sweet voices, tender harmonies and blissful arrangements of Jason Reeves and Nelly Joy. The album was recorded in their home studio and is steeped in a calm and intimacy that is unmistakably the result of a married couple making music in the comfort of their own home. That sense of serenity and ease – not the usual feelings that arise in Grunge music – is deftly transmitted to the listener, rewarding both those who want to enjoy these classic songs in a new way as well as those just looking to chill out without sacrificing their edge. This is music that’s about growing up, not growing old.

“We live in such a fast-paced, crazy world,” Nelly says. “Even adults need help relaxing these days. We don’t necessarily want to rock out to these songs any longer, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t love them or that they didn’t impact our lives.”

The nine tracks that comprise Grunge Lullaby include many of the songs that defined their generation – two each by Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins, both Nelly and Jason’s favorites, as well as favorites by Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and Bush. The repertoire is also broad enough to encompass songs that don’t necessarily fit the “Grunge” category but nonetheless contributed to the period’s diverse and complex sonic landscape – indefinable bands like Radiohead and The Verve Pipe. In the duo’s well-crafted renditions, each of these becomes a soothing and enticing bedtime story for listeners who don’t mind their dreams taking on a darker, more complex tone.

“We all need ways to mellow out or decompress from the chaos that we’re all spinning in every day,” Jason says. “We were both surprised to find how beautiful some of these songs were when we stripped them down. On the original recordings the music sounds as grungy as the visual that these bands were projecting, but underneath they were actually writing good songs with great melodies and strange lyrics.”

Click HERE to check out the full album on Spotify!

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