REVIEW: Exploring the Foundation of Grandace's New EP 'Also Codachrome'

By Jaelani Turner-Williams

It was last February when Cincinnati-based artist Grandace took to Twitter to release a video snippet celebrating his 21st birthday, along with the impending release of his Feel Good EP. The video shows Grandace (born Jody Jones II) seated in front of his bed, a dim light cast over his gleaming smile as he grooves to ‘In My Mind’, a joyous ode to incessant wandering with pizza breaks in-between. A year later, Grandace’s home studio remains his creative hub, but where there was once bliss has transformed into realism on his latest effort Also Codachrome.

Fusing the once-popular Kodachrome photography film with the musical term ‘coda’, the title marks a turning point in Grandace’s life as he uses the six track EP to ruminate on his existence. On the beachy, psychedelic slide of “Elevated”, Grandace raps with staccato verbiage whilst listing his dutiful anxieties. Still, he plants divine seedlings and anticipates them coming into full bloom, haplessly admitting to fighting writer’s block.

It would be easy to compare Grandace to Childish Gambino (one of his admitted influences), but he rather mirrors the airy delicateness of Mild High Club and HOMESHAKE. Giving a nod to the latter with lingering background vocals on “Masterofdisguise”, Grandace masters floetic bounce, making no detours on his route past a 9-5.

Continuing to run laps verse for verse, on “Thumbs Up”, Grandace transmits light keyboard pluckings into longing for immeasurable time. Moving through the “Stream of Life”, he powers through, echoing the falsetto hues of Thundercat and unashamedly replicating a commercial jingle best fitting for the 50’s towards the song’s end.

Wrapping up the EP, Grandace sows “Fertile Soil” through his gravelly vocals, cracking open the portal to self-fulfillment. “A coda is the ending of a musical phrase or idea and in a sense that’s what this project is for me, literally and metaphorically…” Grandace explained in one of a series of tweets as a title breakdown of Also Codachrome. While concluding his past, Grandace moves forth into vivid actualization.

Photo by Annie Noelker

Photo by Annie Noelker