Grabbitz releases spellbinding EP, ‘Better With Time’
In a modern downtown Los Angeles apartment, electronic musician and producer Grabbitz utters a quick “Thank you for coming out” speech to an array of invited music journalists, artists, publicists and managers casually gathered in his living room before playing his latest genre-bending EP, Better With Time. The room, dribbled with the chomping of hors d’oeuvres and fading whispers, immediately grows silent with the project’s rising instrumental intro demanding immediate attention.
Grabbitz, real name Nick Chiari, sits on the couch, staring pensively at the music playing on his desktop screen and re-ties his long jet black hair to subtly divert attention from his unassured glances around the room. All of his painstaking emotions are encapsulated within the opening moments of his highly-anticipated release. Following up last year’s Twitter-induced collaboration “Silent Picture” with Deadmau5 off Zimmerman’s seventh studio album, While(1<2), Chiari understands the elemental importance of true musicianship, tackling all areas of production from instrumentation to vocals to inventive tastemaking ability.
The second song, “Better With Time,” sets the tone for the subsequent tracks on the project, fusing elements of progressive, melodic dubstep, rock, and bass as Grabbitz exudes a vocal confidence well beyond his years. Based on the synced head-bobbing around the room, the record appears to be a favorite, reviving the nostalgia of early 2000s punk bands and a refreshing take on modern day drum and bass.
“Make You Mine” is a soul-stealing cut that embodies a chill, melancholic aura reminiscent of a sunrise time lapse video or hypnotic vampire movie scene. Painfully relatable lyrics, breathy vocals and an eased tempo make way for this easy listening anthem to tug on one’s heart strings. The sinful seduction experienced is washed away with the rising chord progressions of the intermission instrumental.
“Get Out” and “Float Away” should be the proposed lead singles off the EP with their catchy sing-a-long lyrics, infectious melodies, and chopped drops. The two tracks are appropriately paired back-to-back with “Get Out,” inciting a heavier bass-fueled rock vibe while “Float Away” compliments with a charged-up progressive tempo that teleports listeners to an airy elysium of sonic bliss.
Rounding out the project, “Cold” featuring LAYNE, a Los Angeles-bred indie pop trio, creates an understated balance by coupling the male and female perspective of a toiled relationship over an uplifting trap-pop beat. Unlike the rest of the EP’s rock and mild metal influences, this record sees Grabbitz journey a bit more into the alternative pop arena, successfully tackling the challenge just as well.
Ultimately, Grabbitz continues to prove that he’s a force to be reckoned with, not just in the dance space but the music industry as a whole – despite having yet to drop a full-length album. The rising musician, with his intricate and artistic musical arrangements, is etching a go-to name for himself and “Better With Time” is a testament to his ability. In a generation of mundane would-be producers, Grabbitz is doing what they wish they could: charting a path all his own.