How does one make themselves seen in a world that is bursting with new and innovative music? Well, sparkling songwriting built on images and word associations — but always tethered by real emotions — is one way. You could also try a huge output; an album a month for a whole year, say?
Storie Grubb — the moniker for Sean S. Kelly — went with both and washed it down with synth and guitar low-fi melodies that will reel you in. There is a frenetic energy in the folk-punk riffs and repetitions. For Grubb, the world can be cruel (this concept comes up more than once on the record) but it can also be fuel for art.
On the whole, The Void Struggle is a heavy release, but Grubb balances this with tracks that can be danced to. “Shine” is an upbeat saunter to the ideas of alienation and “Reach for the Sky” carries a sense of loss in a juxtapositional celebratory way. “Ancient Applause” falls at the centre of the record and showcases writing prowess with lyrics like, “I put your face on the small of my back and clapped away the boredom and shame / isn’t it strange when the song seems to change?”
“Washing Away” finds the groove between low-fi grit and resonant repetition. Here, Storie Grubb takes his time within the music and it pays off. There is space here to linger. By the time the record closes on the introspective “Heat O’ the Moment”, there is sense of both change and confirmation.