Grocer Talks Johnny Brenda’s, Algorithms, and “exploring the trio thing.” (7/13 at JB’s w/ Washer)

Next Thursday, July 13th, Philadelphia’s own Grocer and Brooklyn’s Washer will be double-headlining Johnny Brenda’s, a gig that I find out, during a recent chat with Grocer, has been...

Next Thursday, July 13th, Philadelphia’s own Grocer and Brooklyn’s Washer will be double-headlining Johnny Brenda’s, a gig that I find out, during a recent chat with Grocer, has been in the works for quite some time: “We like Washer, and our last show before the pandemic and their last show before the pandemic was together and it was really fun, and we were like ,’Let’s do a tour together [laughs],’ so this show is years in the making.”  And Grocer bassist/vocalist Danielle Lovier admits that the Fishtown venue holds a special place in the hearts of the band: “Getting to play Johnny Brenda’s the first time, and all the subsequent times was really cool.  We love to see shows there, and being able to play that stage feels really exciting.  We’ve seen so many great shows there!”

Grocer is comprised of Lovier, Cody Nelson on drums, and Nicholas Rahn on guitar, while they all share vocal duties.  This March they released the follow-up to last year’s Numbers Game LP, with a six-song EP entitled Scatter Plot, which rings heavily of the early-mid ‘90s Lollapalooza alt-rock we love at PHILTHY MAG.  The band tells me the EP’s first single, “Downtown Side,” has been, “picked up by the algorithms, so that song got so much more reach than anything we’d done before,” which they say is nice to have something that live audiences have been singing along to.  Earlier this year, Glide called the song, “Another gracefully chaotic track from one of Philadelphia’s hardest touring bands. Grocer is well known for their pop-aware songwriting with bouts of burn-it-all-down dissonance and layers of blissfully effect-driven guitars.”

Scatter Plot represents a new chapter of sorts for Grocer.  “This EP was somewhat transitional, because we used to have four members, and this is our first time exploring the trio thing.  We also tracked live for one of the songs in a real studio, which was our first time doing that,” says Nicholas, while Cody adds, “The era of Nick writing everything has passed, and the process is working more democratically now.”  And the band has even been working on some even newer music, which Danielle tells me fans can expect to hear a bit of next Thursday: “We’re in the process of writing another album, and we’re doing some songs off of that.”

As far as what the future holds for Grocer, most of it is going to be dedicated to this new music.  “We have a couple months off to really incubate a couple of these new songs and maybe record them, but no promises!” they tell me.  They do have two big upcoming dates this Fall, though, in addition to a tour that is yet to be announced.  October 13th they’ll be playing MilkBoy as part of Philly Music Fest, and they’ll be in Gainesville, Florida October 27th and 28th for FEST 21, an independent festival centered around the sounds of (and inspired by) aughts teen angst, and they have an additional 14 or 15 dates that will be planned around these shows.  And while they confess that they don’t feel like they’re quite punk or emo enough to normally be paired with the other bands on FEST, Danielle tells me, “Everyone we know who has done it loved it.”

*Get your tickets here.

Band InterviewsLive EventsMusic

During the day Izzy Cihak teaches transgression, subversion, and revolution at Temple University. At night he haunts Philthy's best venues to cover worthwhile acts for Philthy Mag. Morrissey is everything to him and, in their own heads, all of his friends see themselves as Zooey Deschanel.