Ginkgo is the new project from Tapes ‘n Tapes singer and songwriter, Josh Grier. Manopause, their debut record, finds Grier exploring new sonic territory, while navigating a world that drastically changed when he wasn’t looking.
After years of touring with his other band, Grier came home to a different life. “I started writing this group of songs in the summer of 2011 between tours with Tapes 'n Tapes. For the previous 8 years, I'd been working a full time job as a data analyst and been in a full time touring band who traveled all over the world. Both of those things kept me busy and my life totally structured,” says Grier. “Then all of a sudden, I was unemployed, had tons of free time, and no clue what to do with myself. Lives had changed all around me while I was gone, and I was lost. I used this record to work through a lot of that. I wouldn’t call it a full-on mid-life crisis, but there was some definite quarter-life confusion.”
A new challenge and a big change were necessary, so Grier dove in head-on, tackling every aspect of Ginkgo - from writing, to playing, to recording, to producing. The only outside perspective comes from his Tapes’ bandmate, Jeremy Hanson. “There was finally a point when I had gotten pretty far down the rabbit hole. I'm not a drummer. It probably took me longer to realize that than it should have. I had been programming some simple beats for the songs, and Jeremy suggested taking that a step further.”
For the first time in his career, Grier wrote without considering how to play the songs live. “I didn’t worry at all about how things would work out. Using live and programmed drums together, using a lot of “in the box” MIDI sounds – it led me in a fun, different direction,” recalls Grier. When it finally came time to work out the live arrangements, Grier had a definite vision - one where all members switched instruments throughout the set. Grier and Hanson are joined live by Rob Skoro, Adam Switlick and Jeremy’s brother, Jacob Hanson, whom all play different instruments on each song.
While the subject matter may be deep and introspective, Manopause moves with an upbeat, visceral energy. It’s a playful, loose, and unpretentious record, but at the same Grier’s signature voice and songwriting style are on full display, with catchy - and at times complicated - songs that build until you think there’s nowhere left to go. Grier’s introduction to the world was in 2005 with Tapes ‘n Tapes’ critically acclaimed debut The Loon, which would eventually be re-released by XL Recordings in 2006. With Tapes ‘n Tapes he has also released the Dave Fridmann produced Walk It Off, and 2011’s Outside, mixed by Peter Katis. Tapes ‘n Tapes have performed on Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and have sold records in the six figures worldwide. Grier and his band reside in Minneapolis, MN.