To start things off, I’d like to clarify that I have a sort of bias for Gryffin and his work given my first exposure to him being the utterly glamorous “Heading Home” back in 2016. That said, I haven’t followed the prolific artist in the last six years… that is, until now. On May 13th, Gryffin blessed me (and the entire internet) with his latest single “Caught Up”.
There’s an incredibly distinct vibe and style that only Gryffin can achieve for my eardrums. His style is what I always imagined when I thought of what EDM should sound like back in my middle school years. Yeah, that era when Bangarang and Rock ‘n’ Roll (Will Take You to the Mountain) were pretty much it. These songs were what a 12 year-old with access to YouTube thought was peak music. Now, don’t get me wrong. Those songs had their time and era, and listening back they’re not half bad (though that could be nostalgia talkin’). Yet, even back then I always wanted more. Something like Gryffin.
Gryffin provides a wonderfully electric and bouncy track with “Caught Up.” He’s not the only one worth mentioning though. Olivia O’Brien belts out lyrics about her feelings and how she’s caught up (ha!) in them. This is elevated by the beat and smooth beat made up of twangy bass and simple piano chords. This adds an organic edge to the classic electronic sounds associated with the genre. However, Gryffin finds a way to make it feel real and grounded in the fundamentals in making music: instruments. This is something a lot of artists that are within the genre either go fully into to the point where they lose the genre. On the flip side, some artists don’t even make the attempt. Gryffin, from the moment I laid ears on him, has always had the balance.
While this might seem like a bad thing, but take it from someone who loved this style since first listening, this is damn good. Listening to Gryffin after such a long time feels like checking in on an old friend and finding they’re doing alright. Feels like we’ve caught up. (I had to.)