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What happens when a teenager escapes the confines of his home country, trading breezy, eternal summers for painstaking winters? Three years ago, Andrés Pichardo was wondering the same thing, when he decided to leave his hometown in the Dominican Republic to study in Massachusetts, but mostly to play music.
It may seem unlikely to pin a teenager growing up in the Dominican Republic as a fanatic of Britain’s jangle pop, C86 and shoegaze. But during Pichardo's musical coming-of-age, these sounds somehow found their path all the way to the Caribbean and right into his ear canal.
Three years later, the 20-year-old is bursting with similarly inspired guitar melodies and synth layers under the moniker Grand Resort.
Last autumn, Pichardo locked himself up in his apartment in Massachusetts to record the magical Vanguard Dreams, before being mastered by Josh Bonati (The Men, Widowspeak, Zola Jesus) in Brooklyn. The result is an eight song LP recollecting every feeling and emotion he had been hiding for years. This isn’t just another kid in his bedroom with his laptop and a guitar. Instead, Pichardo crafts massive recordings within the confines of his bedroom.
“I wanted to develop my ideas as clear as possible, as they did not sound small or vague at all in my head," Pichardo says. "Most people don’t believe me when I tell them this is just me in my room with my twelve-string electric guitar."
Earlier this year, Pichardo released Microscopic, a glistening guitar-driven tune with gliding synths and whispery melodies all over the place. Grand Resort officially made the leap to Brooklyn in February, with Pichardo spending his free time interning at Captured Tracks and perfecting his sound. Grand Resort now performs as a four-piece, with Paul Laughrige on guitar, Rich San Luis (Telenovelas, Ghostless) on bass and Rony Bonilla on drums, perfectly envisioning the sound Andrés Pichardo has been crafting within himself for years.
Grand Resort has recently followed up with the solid, soothing avant pop composition "Night Is Dark". Vanguard Dreams will see the light of day this summer.