Column: Another gem from GRMLN

Ryan Meyer

Yoodoo Park, who writes music under the moniker GRMLN, released his 13th album, Morning Star, on July 1. One may think that, with 13 albums in less than a decade, Park is surely running out of quality material. But this album, and not to mention the 12 before it, is filled to the brim with catchy, guitar-driven songs that sound fresh every time I revisit it. I find GRMLN’s music to be quite ‘bingeable.’

Morning Star, like most of GRMLN’s albums, is pretty short, but still manages to submerge the listener under layers of melody from multiple guitars, vocals, bass, and drum machines, all performed by Park. It’s an enormous challenge for one person to write, record, and produce entire albums by themselves, but Park seemingly does so with ease, and at such a prolific rate that at times the volume of his work can be overwhelming. He has already dropped new singles and announced a release date for his next album. At least let me enjoy this one before getting me all excited again!

I discovered and listened to GRMLN a lot in high school, but my listening habits actually caught up to his releasing rate and there was no new material for me to check out. I took a short break from his music, and came back to find multiple albums waiting for me. This time around, I threw myself into enjoying the minutiae of his records and he has since become one of my favorite musicians.

Morning Star has done nothing but cement that status, with some new favorite songs like “Idols,” “Human,” and the acoustic beauty “Run.” But the whole record is enjoyable from cover to cover, filled with yet more concise and efficient songwriting from Park. Speaking of covers, Morning Star continues GRMLN’s tendency of fascinating, appealing album art. If I were at a record store and saw a GRMLN album on the shelf, and wasn’t familiar with his music, I’d pick it up for a closer look. Morning Star may be Park’s best album cover yet.

Morning Star fits nicely into GRMLN’s catalog and is a solid companion listen with his other 2020 release, Goodbye, World. It seems as though Park has found a niche he is comfortable with that features intricate, reverberating guitar lines, beautiful backing vocals and thoughtful, personal lyrics. Occasionally he steps outside that to write a phenomenal acoustic song, as with “Run” or his recent single, “Western.”

13 albums in, Park is still gifting his listeners with great songs. And there’s no reason to believe that he won’t continue to do so.

My only complaint about Morning Star is that it makes me want even more GRMLN music. Luckily, if history continues to repeat itself, I won’t have to wait too long.


Ryan Meyer can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]