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Picked to Click 2020 No. 6: Double Grave

Double Grave

Double Grave Jack Buckholz

Double Grave have put out lots of EPs and tour tapes. Lots.

“We looked back, like, maybe we made everything too fast, and we should try taking our time on something,” says the trio’s singer/guitarist Jeremy Warden. “Moving slowly and being intentional and not being too rushed and excited.”

So they did. To record August’s sophomore full-length, Goodbye, Nowhere!, they took a long time. A really long time. Maybe six months.

This was the first full LP Double Grave recorded entirely by themselves—this time they felt ready to do something totally DIY, totally in-house. (Literally—they recorded at the house Warner and his bandmate/fiancée, bassist Bree Meyer, rent.)

Warden grew up in a small town, and after moving to Minneapolis was feeling the emotional equivalent of that geographic malaise. “For me, it’s a lot of personal work with mental health and taking time alone and reflecting. In doing that, I was trying to remember—I was being very nostalgic I guess, thinking about how I used to be when I was younger.”

Lyrically and musically, he was trying to make something for that former self, reflecting on the past “as a way to work through the things I was dealing with in the present, if that makes sense.”

(It does.)

Goodbye, Nowhere! seems to emerge from this idea of leaving a place, but also from a mental state that doesn’t feel helpful or positive. There’s loneliness, spaciness, longing. Sometimes it’s quiet: The confessional-bordering-on-Dashboard opener “Out Here” begins with soft wind chimes before that track fuzzes into “The Farm,” which, like much of the record, serves that perfect grunge-emo-shoegaze cocktail of loud and sad, quiet and sad, kinda heavy and sad.

But in Double Grave fashion, it all plays out in a way that feels productive. Goodbye, Nowhere! mixes Midwest emo’s alienation and misery with the Midwest region’s bootstrapping, maybe-I-can-fix-this mentality. You can hear Warden working it out over hazy guitars—impressively enveloping for recordings done in-house by a band with just three members.

Warden is still taking it slow. On the morning we talk, he’s on the porch, drinking coffee. He and Meyer Airbnb’d a cabin near Winona; they’re about to drive out of town to enjoy one last weekend before winter makes us all stuck again.They’ve come to terms with the idea that they might put out another record before it’s safe to play these songs live. They’re getting married next August.

“We just listened to it recently, and it still feels... really representative. It definitely feels like the thing we’ve been trying to do this whole time. Almost like a starting-over point. Or a checkpoint. It’s definitely our most real record we’ve done.”

Click here to check out the rest of the list, or click here to read about Monica LaPlante, who ranked No. 7 in Picked to Click.