Vocalist James Grundler has been booking sets under the name Golden State for years, but it wasn’t until about a year ago that he went through a mental awakening, found his own golden state of being, and solidified the band’s members and message.
Golden State’s first full-length album, Division, is the apex of that endeavor. The album, a recognizable version of contemporary alternative rock, is inspired by the apocalyptic atmosphere of today’s world, full of natural disasters, a revolving door of wars, and immoral world leaders, but the soothing combination of Grundler’s Bono-like vocals and smooth instrumentals landed the band some seriously mainstream gigs. “Till the End,” a love song complete with resonating guitars and sappy lyrics, was chosen by BBC for their coverage of the Royal Wedding, which was viewed by 26 million people in the United Kingdom. The brooding single “All Roads Lead Home” earned a spot on Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch and on the soundtrack for the feel-good family film of the year, Dolphin Tale.
Still, Golden State remains relatively unknown, which means now is the perfect time for fans to see them play an intimate venue. Catch them on Oct. 27 at the Viper Room in West Hollywood before they blow up, play every hour on KROQ, and have their own internet meme.
Photograph by Janee Meadows