Great Crane – “Solar Panels”


“Solar Panels” is an excellent debut single from Great Crane, a Brooklyn-based band. A chugging bass line and soft acoustics complement the retrospective vocals to start, tracing the experience of revisiting a childhood home. Expanded layers of jangly guitars at 01:26 add melodic warmth. Bursts of guitar shortly thereafter combine with a wordless backing vocal addition for a particularly beautiful section. The track builds with a gracefully consuming quality, with melodic guitar twangs and vocal-laden adornments in the rising sections developing seamlessly from sparser verses. The song’s message, a reflection on growing up and comprehending time in a different sense when tragedy strikes, is something that’s universal and moving.

The track is written around a personal experience from singer/songwriter Eli Recht-Appel, elaborated on below from the band:

“Solar Panels” was written as a reflection on songwriter Eli Recht-Appel’s relationship to his family’s home in San Francisco, California, which Recht-Appel visited shortly after learning that his father had been diagnosed with mouth cancer and would soon begin treatment. Thanks to the privilege and fortuna of great treatment and an extensive support system, Recht-Appel’s father has now been cancer free for a year and is feeling healthier all the time.

“Solar Panels” originally was written and demoed in San Francisco by Recht-Appel, further arranged collaboratively in Brooklyn by all the band’s members: Recht-Appel, drummer Addie Vogt, guitarist Julian “Paint” Smith, and multi-instrumentalist Adam Nguyen. written and demoed in San Francisco by Recht-Appel. The track was recorded by producer Ben Fischer, whose relationship with Recht-Appel originates to their high school days in San Francisco, where they both played in bands as teenagers.

“Solar Panels” and other memorable tracks from this month can also be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of January 2020’ Spotify playlist.

The track is also featured in the genre-based, best-of Spotify compilation Indie Rock.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

Send your music to [email protected].

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