Grandson: Compelling ‘Death of an Optimist’ Album Out Now, Live Stream Event 12/17


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Rock Cellar Magazine
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Grandson, the project name of Los Angeles-based artist Jordan Benjamin, has been tirelessly at work for much of the past couple of years. His focus led to a series of EPs that stirred up buzz on social media, and on Dec. 4 he released his full-length debut album, Death of an Optimist.

If there’s one thing that comes through with Grandson’s music these past few years, it’s one word: passion. Every song exudes a sharp focus and adherence to his focus, the intersection of social issues and mental health. The end result is a strong, compelling batch of songs blending alt/rock, hip-hop and beyond (think Rage Against the Machine and the Beastie Boys, for starters).

Grandson describes Death of an Optimist as a “horror story with a happy ending.” The set features the additional work of collaborators Andrew Dawson (Kanye West), Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda, Blink-182’s Travis Barker, producer Krupa (Zero 9:36), and Boonn (grandson’s longtime musical partner).

“It’s about my personal dilemma of whether or not to keep fighting,” said Grandson of the record. “It really represents my own personal crossroads on if I can continue to preach agency and change in a time where there is so much fear-mongering and doom scrolling to suggest it could all be for nothing, ultimately.”

In commemoration of the release of the album, Grandson will host a one-night-only live stream event on Dec. 17 — Death of an Optimist: The Movie, a “one-of-a-kind show pulls back the curtain on grandson’s music, art, and activism, showcasing the live debut of the new album in its entirety, interwoven with never before seen footage from the studio, the road, the grandkids, and more.”

Here’s a trailer for the show, with tickets available at this link:

Death of an Optimist finds Grandson fully grasping his musical vision after fine-tuning it in the studio for years. Were it not for the COVID-19 pandemic, he and his band would no doubt have staged some incendiary live performances, but for now the film event will have to suffice.

Listen to the album below, via Spotify:


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