Influenced by fuzz-rock forefathers Dinosaur Jr. and The Replacements and alt-country giants Emmylou Harris and Townes Van Zandt, Grave Saddles are one of the most exciting acts in the new generation of DIY bands with their cowboy boots planted firmly on their massive pedalboards. Hailing from California’s Inland Empire, this four-piece has spent the past four years releasing singles drenched in distortion as thick and slow as honey, with vocals that are just as sweet. Their songs recall the haziness and laziness of autumn walks and late summer afternoon daydreams, surrounding the listener in an unmistakably wistful warmth.
Grave Saddles’s roadtrip-ready 2022 EP– appropriately titled 2022 Tour Tape –made waves in the growing genre of countrygaze, placing them in good company with contemporaries like Greg Freeman, Hotline TNT, feeble little horse, and Wednesday, and earning them a spot on Stereogum’s Intro to the New Wave of American Shoegaze playlist (curated by Eli Enis). Alongside two excellent original compositions “Pell Mell” and “Myopia,” 2022 Tour Tape included a cover of “Minnesota,” a deep cut from The Mountain Goats’s lo-fi era that showcases both the band’s reverence for their legacy influences and an innovative spirit that breathes new life into the well-loved track.
On their new EP, “There You Ain’t” (out 5/23 with Really Rad Records), Grave Saddles build off their sunny shoegazey sound and whimsical storytelling with tracks like “Edible Arrangements” and “Willie Nelson Golfing Dream #3.” Their attention to detail is as sharp and loving as ever on tracks like “Pony Up,” a sweet little ditty about a passing friendship with a neighborhood cat. Grave Saddles have a keen eye for the understated beauty of everyday life, picking up on quirks that might otherwise go unappreciated or unnoticed and embracing them with a full heart and a lush, unforgettable sound.