Local DC band Grady is paving their own way
Look out for this power pop group’s new EP
The D.C. music scene — small, yet extremely powerful — fully welcomes power pop trio Grady.
Composed of singer and guitarist Emily Yaremchuk, drummer Samantha Collings and bassist Will Salzmann, the D.C. based band is on the rise as they play at venues around the district. Grady was influenced by a number of bands like British rock band Placebo or American punk band Lunachicks. However, Grady also draws a lot of inspiration from bands like Hole and pulls from past Riot Grrrl legends to create an innovative, new sound.
Grady was originally established in 2018, when Collings was recommended to listen to Yaremchuck’s music on SoundCloud.
“Immediately I fell in love with Emily’s songwriting,” Collings said in an interview with The Eagle. “I approached her at a friendsgiving a couple weeks later and very brashly decided to tell her that I’d written parts to all of her songs and that we needed to play together.”
Four years later, Salzmann joined the group as a permanent member after a recording session at American University.
“We didn’t let him in immediately,” Collings said, laughing. The band noted an abridged trial period before formally asking Salzmann to join Grady.
As Grady was formed and began playing throughout D.C., a sense of community was seen in interaction with different bands. Compared to large cities like New York, or cities with heavily established music scenes like Seattle, D.C. has a relatively small music scene and is mostly composed of local artists.
“It feels a little more communal. People really look out for each other,” Yaremchuk said. “Everyone’s out there doing their thing and trying to be the best they can be, but there’s no cutthroat, competitive air in D.C.”
With this small community of musicians, Grady finds themselves playing gigs with several different bands from different genres.
Due to the smaller music scene in D.C., there’s a lot of overlap between genres, but bands like Grady find the mix refreshing.
“It just gives you the confidence to keep writing the kind of songs you want to write because you have no inputs to write to anyone. You’re completely free to sound how you want to sound,” Yaremchuk said.
Grady writes all their own music. Usually the songwriting process starts with Yaremchuk, Collings and Salzmann giving edits once Yaremchuk is finished. Yaremchuk cites Riot Grrrl music as one of her biggest inspirations when she writes.
“So, just a heavy focus on melody and lyrics that can tell a story, but also be a little abstract at the same time,” Yaremchuk said. Collings noted that along with Riot Grrrl music being among Grady’s biggest influences, the Beatles also inspire both herself and Yaremchuk.
“Our biggest common ground is our love for the Beatles,” Collings said. “I think a lot of the harmony aspects to the songs come from how much we listen to that and [the Beatles] are kind of influenced by having really beautiful three-part harmonies over more industrial-garage-sounding rock music.”
Grady’s two recorded songs, “Big Red” and “Sunnies,” draw clear influences from Riot Grrrl artists and the Beatles. With vibrant chord progressions and fun basslines, Grady is able to combine interesting music with provocative lyrics.
In February 2023, Grady began recording what will be their first EP. Slated to include seven songs, Grady is looking forward to releasing the tracks in the spring or early summer.
“It’s a lot of songs that we play live, a lot of songs we’ve been working on for a long time, and we’re super stoked for everyone to hear them,” Collings said.
Edited by Sara Winick, Kylie Bill and Nina Heller. Copy editing done by Isabelle Kravis, Stella Guzik and Sophia Rocha.