Reviews

Set Free Album Reviews:

Freya McGahey from Happy (Australia) says “Speaking with spine tingling and ethereal impact, Grawlixes set themselves apart as two distinguished songwriters on their debut LP Set Free…With an undeniable potential for profound lyricism and a bottomless folk rock diversity, Grawlixes have triumphed on Set Free.”

Ben Yung from The Revue (Canada) says Set Free is “a thoughtful but amusing collection of stories that will leave you chuckling, in awe, and even a bit weary. One song from the record is “Been In Bed”, a warm and tender ballad about surviving another day apart from a loved one. With Esplin’s graceful and endearing vocals weaving through Cederman and Vaastra’s orchestration, you’ll want to snuggle up close to your partner and spend the rest of the day in bed. Her words stick in your head”

William Dart from Radio NZ says (13:55) ..”Some tracks on Grawlixes first album really stand out for me, because they play with the almost unavoidable expectations that build up as one works through a CD. Mine were cut short brutally with the fifth song “Death in the Family” a grim piece of black humour this one as it’s two characters set out to eradicate unwanted memories with malace and matchsticks. (“Death in the Family”) is almost the sweetest sounding song that Grawlixes offer…wooing you with a honey gourd, you might expect them to launch into Burt Bacharach’s I Say A Little Prayer. Robin Cederman’s vocals duck and dive their way through an Indian rubber tube worthy of Mr B himself. There’s more sweet harmonising later, but the grim almost sinister nature of the lyrics is perfectly etched with Cederman’s lazy and almost diffident delivery. In a word (and keeping up the alliteration) delicious”

Sam Vegar from NZ Musician says “Their album is a gorgeous, organic compilation of folk and indie songs…The music is heartfelt in every way.”

Mark from RadioNZ says (27:29) “I’ll listen to the thing again. So many great things to play from this record. The opening  track “Set Free”, which is the title of said album, is pretty gorgeous to say the least. (The) record is absolutely fantastic”

Tim Gruar (13th Floor) says ‘This is a wonderful first release…clever and tuneful and biting’.

Jeremy Taylor from RadioNZ says (13:43) “It’s very sweetly harmonised and melodic folksy pop. There’s something about hearing a NZ accent in a song, it represents a real progression for our maturity”

Libel Music says “Grawlixes’ music often deals in the melancholy with self-deprecating honesty and beautiful boy-girl harmonies”

Hamilton News says “Indeed there is an emotional clarity fuelling these songs both with close harmonies and fine instrumentation”

Scott from When You Motor Away says “The album’s melodies are delicate, intricate, and sweet, while the themes tend toward melancholy and clear-eyed realism, and particularly clear-eyed realism about melancholy-inducing relationships…Infectious and intelligent, Set Free is a real treat for your quieter moments.  And if you don’t regularly have quieter moments, this album makes a strong argument for making time for them”

Fraser Browne from Second Hand News says “Set Free is an absolutely beautiful new folk album from Grawlixes. Its twisting melodies, combined with some sardonic lyricism and instrumentation results in songs that are both catchy and thoughtfully arranged… It’s very lush, warm and there’s also something intimate about the music, especially lyrically, in songs such as ‘Lover Boy’ or ‘Death in the Family’. I have really enjoyed this beautiful, intelligent and slightly quirky album. A must listen.”

Live Performance Reviews:

Toby Blakey from The Hook says “Robin Cederman and Penelope Esplin of Grawlixes have taken their experiences as an ex-couple and have crafted music that is funny, intimate and refreshingly real.”