Album Review: Grover Anderson – The Frontman

Singer-songwriter and Americana musician Grover Anderson has lived in a variety of California atmospheres, each of which has influenced his music; this has never been more evident than on The Frontman, Anderson’s fourth record that will be released on June 13.  It’s an introspective, folky record that tells tales of love, life and loss, and Anderson has crafted an entire story of a man and a woman who move from Oakland, California, to the Sierra Nevada foothills.

The story behind the record alone should give some indication of the effort and passion poured into The Frontman, but if that is not enough, even just one listen makes it apparent how much Anderson puts into his music. Every sound is perfectly nestled into the overall landscape of the record, a feat that requires meticulous care.

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Even from the first song, Anderson’s smooth, strong vocals and simple guitar strumming make it clear that this is an authentic album. On some songs, Anderson kicks the music up with a twangy electric guitar or thick cello from his 14-year-old nephew (“The Archives”), yet the folky music remains pleasant and accessible.

Yet though The Frontman is straightforward and genuine, Anderson’s lyrics are poetic and often vividly descriptive. Lyrics like, “In the archives of your heartache there’s a vacancy/Adorned with statues made of old love’s bones,” on “The Archives” or “I won’t waste no more of your time/Always saw your path running parallel to mine/But though they go together, they never intertwine,” on “Parallel” convey Anderson’s heartbreak without becoming cliché.

Anderson even avoids superficiality by taking a bit of a political stance on “On Comfort,” a song on which his vocals echo just enough to haunt listeners as he croons about death (“And your good guy with a gun had best be white and best not run/And we average one a day and I want heads to roll”).

It is difficult to pick a standout on this record. Every song is strong in its own unique way, and “Evergreen” is just one of many highlights. The track’s story, a sweet love note, is a little more hopeful than the rest (“But you, you’re evergreen, and standing right beside me”), and it’s a cool song with nimble guitar picking and a fiddle dancing behind Anderson’s just-gritty-enough vocals.

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Photo by Lexi Anderson. 

This release is another exciting milestone in Anderson’s schedule; according to his website, Anderson’s true passion is performing live shows, and he is slated to have a busy year as he tours and performs across the United States. Anderson will play two shows near Columbus in July, as well as a variety of other concerts, and anyone interested can find more information on Anderson’s tour schedule here.

The Frontman itself comes out on June 13 on all streaming platforms and on the album’s landing page on Anderson’s website. In the meantime, check out “Standing Water,” a single from the record, below:

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