Grand Am is newly-founded post-pop group founded in New York and Chicago. The duo — comprised of James Panepinto and David McMillin — is one that holds an incredible background of experience in the music industry.
Panepinto has served as a composer, producer, and engineer at The Music Playground in Manhattan, working behind the scenes on soundtracks for shows on MTV, CBS, A&E, and films that have appeared at Cannes, Sundance, and Tribeca. All of this started for Panepinto when he began working as an un-paid assistant to Grammy-nominated engineer Emily Lazar and Grammy-Winning engineer Joe LaPorta, who have worked together with acts like David Bowie, Vampire Weekend, and the Shins. “When I first started out, I was working 60 hours every week as an unpaid studio intern,” he states. “That may sound brutal, but it was one of the best experience of my life.”
This all benefits Grand Am, as Panepinto used this all as inspiration while creating hundreds of instrumental tracks for the project. Finally, in 2016, these recordings started their process on getting to see the light of day when he teamed up with Dave McMillin, the lead singer of Chicago-based Fort Frances, while also being a singer-songwriter features on shows on the CW, Netflix, and NBC — even learning lyrical honors from American songwriter. “James sent me five demos that absolutely floored me,” McMillin begins. “Then he sent me around 50 more.”
That is when the two began working together on Grand Am at a relentless pace, throwing songs back and forth while also traveling between New York and Chicago to record. The end result is their record Waves, one that combines Panepinto and McMillin’s unique personal talents into one, capturing a sound that is exciting and new.
Today, Substream is excited to premiere the title-track from Waves. The track is dreamy, ambient, all the while holding onto a hook worth dying for. You can listen for yourself below.
“The original title for ‘Waves’ was ‘Somewhere, Somehow.’ It speaks to the soul searching the song touches on. It’s about chasing after something but at the same time not knowing where we’re going — that idea that we’re moving forward yet we’re still engulfed by forces bigger than us,” explains Panepinto.
This is just the beginning for Grand Am, and you can keep an eye out for additional music and even touring plans in early-2019.