Common Grackle is the collaboration of two Canadian musical wiz kids: Guelph indie pop songwriter Gregory Pepper and Saskatoon psych hip hop producer Factor. The Great Depression is what happens when Factor’s recognizable banging drums get enveloped in Gregory Pepper’s lush harmonies, hilariously cynical lyrics, and gorgeous instrumentation. The album features performances from the Camp Pepper alumni along with guest appearances by Ceschi and the spankmaster himself, Kool Keith.
At the suggestion of Fake Four Inc founder Ceschi Ramos, label mates Pepper and Factor began corresponding in the winter of 2009, ultimately leading to their first recording; a drunken homage to ODB’s “Shimmy Shimmy Ya”. About half a year later the duo met for the first time to mix the 12 song album they had created by means of swapping audio files over the internet. The Great Depression marks a significant departure for Pepper as a songwriter, relinquishing his one-man-show authoritarian control and allowing songs to be fleshed out with slick, clean production and a bold, dynamic backdrop. Likewise, Factor has blurred the line between hip-hop and indie rock beyond all recognition, embracing the pop sensibilities he’s hinted at in previous work to create a true crossover album that defies genre.