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Andy Gruhin inks deal with Sony/ATV

By Adam Marx

Section: Arts

March 16, 2012

It’s always exciting to hear that one of your favorite artists is planning to sign a major record contract, but it’s even more exciting when you see that artist make the transition before your eyes. Andy Gruhin is one of those artists. A presence on my music blog NewRockNews43 since 2010, Andy Gruhin was one of the first artists I discovered when I first entered music journalism. He has been a staple of and on constant rotation on my radio show, Underground Takeover, since its inception last semester. I’ve followed Gruhin through his two EP releases and now up to the amazing news that he announced at the start of this week. Gruhin told me this week that he has just concluded talks and signed a publishing deal with Sony/ATV.
Gruhin released his first EP, “World Out There,” in the summer of 2010. The recording was the result of just four days in the studio (almost unheard of for the sort of production it boasts) and featured full-band versions of the title track, “Higher,” “Little Piece of Summer,” “Short and Beautiful” and the epic track (as well as Gruhin’s own self-described anthem) “Sore Losers.” The EP also included a diamond-in-the-rough song as a special bonus track that has been my favorite since I was lucky enough to hear a skeletal version of it about a year prior to its official release. The acoustically stripped-down track “Without My Wings” was, as far as I was concerned, a sign of things to come. While “World Out There” and “Higher” boasted high-octane guitar riffs and addictive drum fills, “Without My Wings” showcased a different side of Gruhin’s artistic abilities. The guitar riff was simple, yet what drew me in from the first finger-pluck were the lyrics; “Lack of liquor broke my heart with a thud” are words every lover can relate to as they pen a retrospective love song, pouring over the letters that were sent and received months ago. And as the chorus approaches and crescendos, the piano and female backup vocals give the track an ethereal quality that makes it an unforgettable song, as well as one of Gruhin’s best pieces—acoustic or otherwise. But the acoustic version was only the beginning for this song.
In the summer of 2011, Gruhin followed up “World Out There” with “Let the Darkness Grow!”—an EP so unapologetically brash and edgy that it stands out in ways that other artists wish they could achieve. There were a slew of new songs on the new EP, but I was immediately drawn to a re-recorded full-band version of “Without My Wings.” I wasn’t disappointed. I was blown away from the first second as Gruhin’s guitar exploded from the speakers and his new anthemic vocals replaced the breathy whispers of the acoustic version. Also joining the new vocal arrangements and energy were a blasting rhythm section and a note progression that Gruhin inserted just after the second verse, the latter of which still sends chills down my spine. My pick for the lead-single of the EP, “Without My Wings,” has been on constant rotation on my radio show, and it regularly helps draw in thousands of listeners every week who are looking for new underground music. Along with the newly recorded version of “Without My Wings” and the title track were the high-energy tracks “The Fairest,” “Wasted Words,” “Under My Skin” and the power-balled “I’ll Follow You.” If “World Out There” was a solid hit for Gruhin, he hit a homerun with “Let the Darkness Grow!”
On the eve of inking a publishing contract with Sony/ATV, Gruhin stated that the new material he’s working on will make the long wait worth it. “The first EP was only four days in the studio,” Gruhin said, “and the second was only about seven. For the next recording, I hope to be able to spend more time so that I can really get the best versions of my songs on it. I’m also looking to do a music video, so I’m trying to see about that as well.”
Gruhin has clearly made a full leap forward, but I still cant wait to see what happens for him next. I heard from Gruhin that new material is certainly in the works and that he’ll be working on sharpening his writing skills so that his next release will be his best yet.
I knew it was only a matter of time until Andy Gruhin blew up; sometimes you know in your bones that something like this is destined to happen. The feeling behind the new opportunities on the horizon is simple for Gruhin: “I’m just excited to have this opportunity and I’m ready to show the world what I can do.”

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