Grandchildren, the eclectic Philadelphia band led by Aleks Martray and Shari Bolar, is gearing up to release its fourth album next year, a self-titled record which will mark the next step in the band's sonic evolution. But, as is often the case, the band must look backward to move ahead. With the release of 'Zuni,' a single that shares the name of the band's 2015 LP, Grandchildren is taking a few steps forward. Martray was kind enough to answer a few questions about 'Zuni,' changes in process and the band's new record.

How is this LP different from the last two records? What was the recording process with just the two of you? Did that impact the sound of the the record?

This record was a complete departure in terms of process. It’s really an amalgamation of songs from across many years, like a musical journal of sorts. As I started piecing them together I realized there was a narrative unfolding. My first impulse was to share them with Shari, even though we hadn’t really spoken in nearly two years. We had always said when the time was right we’d find a way to collaborate, and this felt like the moment. When I reached out we were both shocked out how similarly we related to the music. It really seemed to capture both the highs and lows we had experienced while being out of touch. Within months she was on her way to Philly to join the band and work on the record. It was the first time we had really sung together and she intuitively had the harmonies and phrasing, like she knew the songs better than I did. From there on out, the album took on a life of its own. The songs evolved from sketches that felt like monologues into full arrangements that felt more like conversations. When I listen to the record now it makes me think of how something that seemed so unlikely can feel inevitable in retrospect.

Why wasn't "Zuni" on the the last record, since that was the title of your third album?

I have this habit of finally figuring out what a record is all about at the very end of making it. This tends to mean the title track always comes last, as happened with both Everlasting and Golden Age. In this case, it came a couple months too late and didn’t even make the record. But I found the song to be like a musical compass for the next record. It reflected my desire to pair down and go back to basics (acoustic guitar, vocals) and create sturdy, authentic songs that don’t depend on complicated arrangements trying to prove something. Listening back, the track definitely belongs on the new record and set the tone for the new sound. I think it's a perfect example of a song that really came to life with the addition of Shari’s vocals, which makes me feel like like the song came together when it was supposed to. Sometimes songs dictate their own timetable.

What can fans expect with the live show now. What will the set-up be like?

I think as we’ve evolved we’ve become more interested in connecting with audiences than just impressing them. We’ve traded in a lot of the fancy electronics and stage antics (instrument trading/rotating, etc) to just focus on enjoying the music with the audience. Like the new record, our live show is really centered around the vocal harmonies and our on-stage chemistry. (Not to mention Shari’s incredible outfits!)

How has the band and this record, in particular, grown since its inception? Has the Philly scene changed your musical evolution as a result?

Emerging from such an eclectic & supportive Philly DIY/underground scene exposed us to so many incredible artists and most importantly allowed us to cultivate our own sound. As the scene has evolved, we’ve evolved with it. There are so many more venues, promoters and artists here than ever before, many of whom are finally becoming recognized on a national level. The new record was actually the last recording made at the DIY venue we used to run before closing its doors. Danger Danger Gallery was a place where so many big names got their start -- Hop-Along, War on Drugs, as well as non-Philly acts like Tune-yards and Future Islands. It made the recording experience nostalgic and bittersweet, but definitely felt like closure on an important era for both the Philly scene and Grandchildren as a band.

Grandchildren's self-titled LP is due out next year via Ernest Jenning Record Co. You can pre-order it here.