Seth Goodman, the flesh and blood alias of The Grand Undoing, creates psych-influenced indie rock and pop landscapes where the borders between genres are blurred almost beyond recognition. Balanced among these familiar sounds are scraps of Americana, post-rock and a good deal of singer-songwriter tenderness. This odd brew, a mix of echoing emotionalism and brooding introspection, churns and bubbles beneath Goodman’s practiced determination.
Growing up just outside Boston, he clung to his record player for support and inspiration throughout his teenage years. Eventually growing close to the town’s local college radio wavelengths, as well as investing himself within its energetic club scene, his musical appetites evolved as his experiences changed. He developed a love for classic country and roots music, giving his already-expansive collection of influences even more to assimilate.
With the upcoming release of his new record, “Sparks Rain Down From the Lights of Love,” Goodman continues this freeform integration of various genres. His work never adheres to any one sound for very long and is motivated by a need for movement and growth. Tackling a weighty series of themes, there is a vicious lyricism at work here, but all in the service of raising people up even if it does sting from time to time.
On his latest single, “Most of All We Just Go Around,” Goodman wraps a buoyant pop swagger around some wriggling rhythms and malleable melodies. The resulting clash of ebullient noise and deeply introspective narratives forms the underlying foundation on which he presents his often-scathing perspectives on his experiences. Sprinkled with bits of Elvis Costello’s acerbic wit and the pop bounce of Ben Folds, the song captures a caustic realization of our own limitations.
Goodman isn’t proposing a condemnation of these inadequacies so much as he is opting for a grounded understanding concerning the fact that we all make mistakes and that live with the consequences of our actions. Taking away the rose-colored filters that are often forcibly placed on the world around us, this song offers a series of honest and often-disquieting revelations that attempt to reveal the beautiful and horrible truths that we’re presented with on a daily basis-and it’s all built up around a rush of heady pop tones and indie rock restlessness.
Joshua Pickard covers local and national music, film and other aspects of pop culture. You can contact him on Facebook, Twitter or by email. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.
Updated @ 11:29 a.m. on 7/25/16.
Updated @ 2:24 p.m. on 7/25/16.