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Just like fine wine, Grapetooth only gets better with time. Slipping through windows in a whirl of cops vs robbers antics, speeding around on motorcycles and wreaking havoc in the streets of Chicago, Clay Frankel and Chris Bailoni posses a headless charm. With their first two singles, “Trouble” and “Violent,” the hazy fluorescence of their fish eyed music videos and the obvious new wave influences was surreal. The raucous earworms and synth felt entirely foreign but completely alluring.

With Frankel’s raspy vocals reminiscent of the Stones and Bailon's 80’s inspired production, the unlikely culture clash stuns again in “Red Wine.” Feeling like the soundtrack to a dodgy club scene, the song smolders and swoons with synthetic electricity. Seeming to fade into the fog of 3 am conversations, slurred words and awkward stumbles, the song prys on those emerging insecurities after a few drinks. Sticking to their less is more lyrical philosophy, Frankel seems deeply entrenched in thought as he croons ‘ooh, you never love fast enough/oooh, you never hit hard enough/it ain't the leavin', it's the goin' around.’ The fun starts to fade as he wonders who she’s spending her nights with now, and those purple smiles retract into frowns as that slow descent into sobering up kicks in.

“Red Wine” once again highlights Grapetooth’s knack for creating more than just songs, but an ambiance. From the red convertible slinking down the streets to the blue-hued bar, the song seems to have been penned into the fabricated atmosphere that you can’t help but drift into as you listen. Floating on a cloud of muddled bliss, “Red Wine” will keep everyone buzzed until their debut album is released November 9th.


samantha sullivan