To celebrate their first album in 5 years (check out my review here) I’ve tried to condense Grails’ work into 10 a mere tracks. Tricky stuff, though Spotify have made it easier by not having Take Refuge in Clean Living (check the video below for a taste of that), Black Tar Prophecies 1-3 or Interpretations Of Three Psychedelic Rock Songs From Around The World available. Needless to say then that this is an incomplete primer; but it does just about trace the line from their early Dirty Three-esque sonic wanderings through their voyages into psychedelia, prog, soundtrack composers, krautrock and a hundred other musical hinterlands all the way to latest release Chalice Hymnal, the sound of a set of musicians playing and composing with complete freedom.
They’ve been a frequently misunderstood band over the years (hell, I’m not entirely sure I’ve truly got a handle on them) due to the scope of their ambition and, perhaps, the narrowing of ambitions of their supposed contemporaries. This selection won’t teach you all there is to know about their ways, but I hope it makes for a welcoming introduction to their world.