At its core, Grandbrothers‘ music represents a communion between the old and the new. On their extraordinary new album, ‘Late Reflections’, due out April 14th on City Slang, the German-Swiss duo place their art in communion with an institution so old it predates their music by seven centuries: Cologne Cathedral. The iconic monument of Gothic architecture, which is both a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Germany’s most visited landmark, served as an unusual recording studio for Grandbrothers’ fourth album, marking the only time the Cathedral has ever permitted a recording of this kind. The resulting album pulses with a rare sense of history and architecture, allowing the spatial properties of this magnificent building to shape and deepen the timbre of the duo’s swelling compositions.
As far as concept albums go, ‘Late Reflections’ is evocative and immersive, and it asks as many questions as it answers: What does it mean for music to interact with architecture and physical space? What is the sound of a church that has been revered for centuries for the way it looks? How can artists forge something new out of 700 years of history?
The cathedral setting subtly steered the duo towards more ambient, atmospheric instincts. “On our previous album we went into a more physical and club-influenced direction,” reflects Sarp. “This album, we just said, ‘Let’s see what happens and be free to go more into ambient, or more atmospheric, experimental sound spheres.”
This feeling is evident on new single “Infinite“, which the duo have shared today along with a visualiser filmed at the cathedral. The band comment: “Infinite was one of the first ideas that came to life after our first acoustic explorations at the cathedral. We knew that there would be a lot of reverb, but we never expected that the room would be that magic. One thing that was clear immediately: The music needs room to breathe and all the echoes and little sparks should play an essential part in our conversation with that room.”