8-11/6/23 Hradec Králové Park 360

grandson is returning to the Czech Republic after an awesome and successful show at last year’s Rock for People!

This time around, grandson wasn’t pulling any punches. He’d always been a fearless artist, one unafraid to take aim at authority, fight the power and let his listeners know exactly how he felt.

But in recent times, the genre-mashing rock artist, who has long released soul-baring music, decided to reveal himself like never before. “My whole career and my whole relationship to songwriting has been driven by this real need to leave a mark and to feel understood,” says the Canadian-American artist born Jordan Benjamin. “And yet I felt that I had been doing myself and my fans, who have now been on this journey with me for half a decade now, a disservice. I felt like we didn’t even have an honest conversation the whole time. I didn’t feel like I was bringing all of me to the table.”

To that end, grandson wrote, recorded and is set to release his most personal and vulnerable album to date. Where his past work tackled big-tent issues—often political and social in nature—I Love You, I’m Trying, due May 5th via Fueled By Ramen, turned the lens definitively inward.

“I wrote this album trying to surrender some of that desire to control the narrative” grandson explains. “I threw all of that out and tried to make something that was really personal and grounded in a place that inspired me.” The songs on I Love You, I’m Trying are in many ways unlike anything the forever-bold artist has released: it’s altogether a deep-dive into the psyche of a fragile, oft-emotionally unstable and yet wildly creative force. After releasing 2020’s daring theatrical debut album, Death of an Optimist, grandson says he needed to create a project this time “that felt like I had something to lose. Where I was embarrassed to play it for people.

Where I was examining with a critical lens my own insecurities and my family history. And all of a sudden, these themes that are following me through my career, now have a much more personal and intimate home.”

He’d long been labeled a “political artist,” and while there’s undoubtedly a rich history of artists who have lived up to that billing, grandson felt slightly boxed in by that title. “Political music is necessary and it is inspiring,” he explains. “But it also has been historically completely unsustainable for the people who burden themselves with the responsibility of making it. There’s very few instances of artists that began and continued politically and lasted more than a few years – before either having this intense burnout or imposter syndrome or an inflated ego feeling like ‘I’m going to write a song that will change the world.’”