When Band of Horses left the city of Seattle for South Carolina after the release of their first album Everything All the Time, guitarist and co-founder Mat Brooke didn't follow. Instead Brooke stayed behind in Seattle and founded the indie rock band now known as Grand Archives (formerly known just as Archives).
They released some demos in March 2007 announcing their presence and quickly were signed and ended up opening for Modest Mouse in April before heading to the studio to record their full-length album that summer. Earlier this year, they released that album The Grand Archives. Included on the album are the four songs previously released as demos, but reworked and recorded with a fuller instrumentation and a crisper sound. Brooke's said that one of the rules that his band set up was that they wouldn't use any synthesizers; every instrument recorded is the real deal.
When asked about how the band's music differs from his prior work with Band of Horses, Brooke's said "I feel like I still played the guitar the exact same way and I usually go with the same chord changes but the only difference was that we added a lot more vocal melodies and try to play in a few less minor chords and in a few more majors." It shows. The overall sound of the album is brighter and more upbeat even if the lyrics have a tendency towards the melancholy.
Torn Blue Foam Couch is the lead track off the album and the version on the site is the album version. The earlier, demo version is worth listening to, though. If you compare the two songs, you can hear the difference primarily in the introduction and in the tempo.
Grand Archives - Torn Blue Foam Couch (demo)
Grand Archives is in the middle of a summer tour currently performing along with Sera Cahoone (Cahoone sometimes used to drum sometimes in Carissa's Wierd and in Band of Horses). Below are three more tracks from The Grand Archives.
Grand Archives - Sleepdriving
Grand Archives - Miniature Birds
Grand Archives - Index Moon
Grand Archives' website (not really active as of now)
Grand Archives' MySpace