Singer-songwriter Grant Pavol today released a poignant new single, “Men Who Taught Me Chords,” off his debut album About A Year due out September 4 on Shamir’s Accidental Popstar Records. It follows initial track “Bones,” which memorializes Grant’s grandfather and prominent author/playwright/screenwriter William Goldman (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, All the President’s Men, The Princess Bride, Marathon Man). Speaking further on “Men Who Taught Me Chords,” Grant explains: “Several of the artists who profoundly influenced me musically (some who literally taught me chords and techniques on guitar and bass) were later outed for various forms of personal misconduct. This song is about the regret that I often feel when reflecting on my past influences, and attempting to navigate the music industry in a positive, just, and kind way.”
Grant met Shamir at DIY shows in Philadelphia, eventually signing to his record label and releasing the Okay EP to praise from Clash, Dork, WXPN and beyond. Born to a creative family of writers and musicians, Grant taught himself to play guitar as a teen and soon began performing at shows in Philadelphia. Like his influences Elliott Smith and Nick Drake, Grant’s vocals and lyrical melodies carry the sincerity of his sound. Whether he’s strumming his guitar in his bedroom or tracking songs in a friend’s living room, Pavol is always immersed in the craft of singing and songwriting – and he has his family, friends and Philly to thank for that. Pulling from minimalist composers, hip hop production, and ambient recordings, as well as ‘60s folk and country music, he recorded and produced this debut album himself in a dorm room during his freshman year of college.
As the title implies, the album is about a year in Grant’s life between the end of high school and the end of his freshman year of college – a period of immense personal change, between his family’s health problems, move away from home, and worsening depression, which strained many personal relationships. In many ways, the album is about the concepts of change and success, and Grant’s own attempts to attain personal contentment in the midst of tumult and confusion. In the end, it’s about hope and how the struggle for joy can be won.