Sean Grinsell – R Is For Redemption (2021)

When we think of stories, we immediately think of words weaving a new world that we can fall into and get lost in. Sean Grinsell is here to let us know that words aren’t needed at all to tell a story. Through the five tracks on R Is For Redemption, he uses instrumentation to tell a tale without any words which is as captivating as any epic.

With stylistic influences from Led Zeppelin to Deep Purple and Stevie Ray Vaughn, he moves from heavy and loud to melancholy and jazz. Through the different styles of the tracks, Grinsell not only draws you into the story, but also showcases his musical abilities. As each track is instrumental, the story that unfolds is largely up for interpretation by the listener.

The EP opens with the attention-grabbing ‘Rogue’ which brings a loud and heavy sound to your ears. The pounding beats of the opening line hook their talons into your brain before you are pulled into the intense movement of the guitar. The keys that cry out over the beats are a delightful trill of sound that adds texture to the tale. There are a few stylistic twists to the track that keep you engaged. Through the track, you can feel Grinsell’s personality shine through. While an excellent opening track, it also offers you an introduction to the man behind the music. The contrasts of the man shines in the lows and highs of the instrumentation.

‘Rush’ certainly lives up to its name even with the slower-paced opening. This opening builds in tension and gets your heart racing before you are swept in the rush of the piano line. With a soft rock edge, the track steady runs through your chest and makes you want to move around. The intense thrum of the song does let up to give you a chance to catch your breath before you are thrown back into the sonic race. There is an undertone of frantic energy to this single that makes you think of the fast pace of the world where you can’t get a moment to just relax. The depths of the track is amazing as the deep piano line accentuates the chiming cymbals and running pace.

After the pace of the last track ‘Rift’ has you floating in a river of melancholy. There is a sadness to the music that captures your brain from the first note. You can feel a sense of tragedy in the music as it moves around you in an almost funerary flow. The darker melodics has a touch of blues that is wonderful to hear. When the piano bangs against your ears it pulls at your heart like a wail of sadness before you are dropped into a floating sense of apathy. This is a rather heavy track that weighs on you in the best possible way while making you sway to its irresistible movement.

‘Reflection’ is another sombre track that slowly builds through a shimmer wash of synths. The electronic edging of the track creates a hazy feeling to the music like you are trying to reach out through water. The slow build of the melody is an interesting change compared to the more full-on tracks that preceded it. There is a lightness to the music through the piano line but this is tempered by a sombre feeling like a deathly silent summer day when you feel something building in the air. The building comes to a head with the breaking of a sonic storm packed with lightning guitars and rumbling thunder. This is the moment in the story when emotions are unleashed in an expressive outburst.

The EP comes to a close with ‘Refraction’ that takes a different turn from the sombre feelings of the last tracks. The jazzy vibes of the music bring a celebration to your ears and put a smile on your face. Through the music, you are filled with the good vibes of a party with friends and family. The sadness and darkness of the EP are left behind for a forward movement to something much brighter. Through the music, you can feel an affectionate arm slung over your shoulders and pulling you into a laughing good time. The organ has an amazing run that you can’t get enough of before joining the piano for a kaleidoscopic explosion of lights and happy vibes.

Sean Grinsell lets you know that you don’t need words to tell a story through the captivating instrumental sounds of R Is For Redemption. While each track is open to interpretation, the EP moves through sadness, despair and haziness to an end of good vibes and affection. It is a really captivating EP that you can easily listen to on repeat.

Find out more about Sean Grinsell on his Twitter, Instagram and Spotify.

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