Grandpa Was A Lion

Grandpa Was A Lion – Mobile Alabama Blues

Grandpa Was A Lion – The Light

It's hard to find lo-fi indie from Brooklyn that really stands out if for no other reason than pure overload. Fortunately for us (and, subsequently, you!) we've found Grandpa Was A Lion and his beautiful, self-recorded album, The Whalestoe Tapes.

Grandpa Was A Lion is the moniker of Connecticut-born Justin D'Onofrio. He lived in Brooklyn for awhile recording, but disliking the direction his music was going, decided a move back home to Connecticut was in order. In the tradition of great bedroom lo-fi albums, D'Onofrio recorded his album alone with his laptop and basic recording equipment.


I know what you're thinking. "This intro means the music is probably totally amateur and poorly recorded". But you're wrong, fool! Grandpa Was A Lion crafts a hazy brand of indie lo-fi that is particularly noteworthy to me for two reasons.

One, it's totally heartfelt and often heartbreaking. You know that feeling when you have a particularly vivid dream featuring people you have serious feelings for, and you wake up feeling extraordinarily emotional? D'Onofrio bottles that feeling perfectly in his free-floating, smoke-filled soundscapes and whispy vocals. "The Light" in particular kind of destroys me.

Second, Grandpa Was A Lion showcases a particular talent for cohesive songwriting. While each song is dreamy, it is also purposefully directed and doesn't fall into the trappings of free form lo-fi with no particular place to go. He's also adept at incorporating elements of other genres while keeping his general lo-fi aesthetic.

You're doing yourself a disservice if you don't spend six bucks for this beautiful collection of tunes. You can grab it over at Grandpa Was A Lion's bandcamp page.