Press Play: Grapetooth

Slip into that well-worn denim jacket, lace up those high-tops, and get ready to dance your heart out.  Chicage-based Grapetooth released their debut EP, Grapetooth, and it’s serving all the modern-retro synth-pop magic you need.

Grapetooth consists of two familiar faces: Clay Frankel of Twin Peaks and producer Chris Bailani, who creates under the name Home-sick.  The duo met at a club one night, shouting that they had to start a band, not knowing where it would lead them.  Three years later, they’re living together and have signed to Polyvinyl Records.  Grapetooth stayed true to their roots, naming themselves after the temporary tattoo of crimson that cheap red wine left in their mouths.

Check the hazy smokescreen dream alluding to their name in video for “Red Wine.”

Grapetooth channels a very Do-It-Yourself aesthetic.  Hairstyle of choice? Hat Nines, where they fancy themselves pseudo-stylists.  They grab a hat and some clippers, giving themselves (and sometimes, others) disheveled bowl cuts.

This homemade feeling translates into their music and videos.  Bailani keeps a room full of synthesizers  in the apartment, where the two will spend hours trying different things out.  The videos carry this energy, flickering between shots of them running around their apartment and driving through the city.  The main priority, both in their music and in the subsequent videos, is that nothing makes too much sense.  Themes are not linear, and never tell a story.


Although not narrative, Grapetooth captures the frantic energy of a chase in “Violent.”

Grapetooth kicks off their debut with “Violent”, a track that would feel right at home in a John Hughes coming-of-age movie.  Many of the tracks flirt with New Order-esque synth and drum machine beats sure to inspire some throwback feelings of youthful abandon.  “Trouble” brings in a synth hook that will leave you dancing down the streets and never leave your head.  While most of the album is packed with earworms, tracks like “Mile After Mile” and “Together” lean into a slower, more guitar-led sound.  Grapetooth may even leave you feeling like asking your crush to dance at prom with their slow-synth jam “Hallelujah.”

Run (or dance) away from your problems with the video for “Blood”.

Check out more from Grapetooth and other artists like them by keeping tuned in to!

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