Jazz can be difficult at times while pop is generally always welcoming. And for those artists whose work meets at this intersection, the results can be unpredictable — you either have a disjointed mash of noise or a sound which allows each genre to compliment one another perfectly. Thankfully, for Chattanooga group Robin Grant & The Standard, this collision of rhythms and glistening melodies proves to be a good fit, allowing them to balance the traditional aspects of jazz with the theatricality of modern pop.
They released their latest record, “Good Girl,” last year, and it was filled with tangos, elaborate pop narratives and Grant’s inimitable voice. The songs moved around through a handful of musical perspectives, stopping briefly to marvel at their surroundings before heading off to whatever expanse lay within the track. Emotional complexity and universal sentiment roamed without restriction, giving them room to explore and deconstruct their influences before settling in on their own distinctive aesthetic.
Recently, the band released the video for “Good Girl”-cut “Love Me Wrong,” a bristling tango which provides ample proof of their ability to wring compelling characterizations from different genres. Anchored by the graceful movements of two dancers as Grant & The Standard perform the song, the clip (directed by Christian Arnsparger) possesses a sense of internal motion, of creativity and intuition working in tandem to build something greater than they could on their own.
Vivid and operatic at times, the song finds the band reveling in their sophisti-pop leanings, while the video matches that sense of rhythmic grandeur and wide-eyed romanticism. They aren’t necessarily looking for subtlety here; they aim to create something that can reach the rafters, that can lift upward and spiral above our heads. As dancers Aaron Greer and Keyley Jackson cease their dance and reality comes back into frame, you come to understand exactly what you’ve been witnessing, and that realization is profoundly moving.
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 itsemployees.