Like many bands on the current indie scene, Double Grave straddles the lines of musical genre, taking equal influence from post-punk, ‘90s Midwest emo, gloompop, and shoegaze. 2017’s New Year’s Daydream was an explosion of fuzzy riffs and sparse, soulful lyrics. In 2019, the trio also released Ego Death Forever, an EP of songs from their previous project Ego Death, offering their fans a tantalizing look into the product of a band in process.
Double Grave’s sophomore album, Goodbye, Nowhere!, which came out August 7 on Forged Artifacts, continues to draw from the influences of their previous work, but it also reveals a band that is able to write compellingly on variations of a single theme. The result is a tight half hour examination of loneliness, isolation, and self-reflection in the wake of early adulthood. Those themes are always powerful, and it’s a happy accident that Goodbye, Nowhere! dropped at a time when it would have an additional edge since all our lives are being punctuated, to a certain extent, by a self-imposed but involuntary distance due to COVID-19.
The album opener, “Out Here,” starts not with the heavy guitars of their previous album but with almost 35 seconds of ambient birds, windchimes, cars, and leaves before adding the simple duo of lead singer Jeremy Warden and a lone guitar. It effectively sets the tone of the album, showing the simultaneous peace and loneliness that can come from being physically alone in a space.
These mixed emotions continue into the lead single off the album, “The Farm.” It is here where the influence of ‘90s emo shines through, with the guitars janking and stuttering their way through the song’s story of painful revelation through isolation. The song’s heartfelt request for human connection during the first chorus (“Touch me / Feel me now / I wanna reach out”) is immediately followed by the decision to seek fulfillment elsewhere, alone, to “move out to the farm, try to talk to God again.” But the song always returns to the desperate desire for human connection in the chorus, leading the listener to find that no amount of self-reflection in isolation can really replace the emotional need for relationships with others.
But those relationships can be a source of pain as well. This is succinctly expressed in “Long Drive Home,” where the uncertainty of relationships takes center stage. Much of this uncertainty, again, is self-inflicted, with the lyrics admitting “it’s hard to open your heart and find whatever.” The emotions inside of the lyrics are as opaque to the character created there as to the audience, and that lack of self-understanding leads to a different kind of loneliness and isolation even when evidently in a relationship.
The significant interest in and positive reception to Goodbye, Nowhere!, including a positive review in Pitchfork, indicate a band on a skywards trajectory musically and artistically. Fans of grungy, heartfelt indie rock will want to check out this album and keep an eye open for what Double Grave will have in store for us next.
Davis, Ted. “Double Grave: Goodbye, Nowhere!” Pitchfork, Pitchfork, 11 Aug 2020, https://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/double-grave-goodbye-nowhere/.
“Double Grave.” First Avenue, https://first-avenue.com/performer/double-grave.
“Double Grave.” Bandcamp, https://ggrraavvee.bandcamp.com/.