While recording their new studio album Keep In Mind Frankenstein (out September 15 via Sub Pop), frontman Mat Brooke of Seattle folkies Grand Archives couldn't seem to find the lyrics for what would eventually become "Oslo Novelist," one of the album's best tracks. But the group didn't sit around waiting for inspiration to strike. Sans lyrics, Grand Archives began recording the track's instrumental parts, fudging the words in the process.
Later, the words came. "The lyrics are an imagination of an author who spends a lifetime with writer's block and finally finishes his first book on his deathbed. So I guess the song is written about not being able to write," Brooke tells SPIN.com.
The band recruited friend Jason Kardong to provide the sweeping pedal steel on this country lament, and, indeed, it's easy to picture the tune drifting out of the jukebox in a desolate saloon, providing a moment of serenity for the regulars crying in their beers.
It sounds straight out of Nashville -- so how did "Oslo" enter the picture?
"Beats me," Brooke says. "We're just making this stuff up as we go along."
Download "Oslo Novelist" below.
LISTEN:Grand Archives, "Oslo Novelist"(DOWNLOAD MP3)