Australian indie rock band the Griswolds became an overnight sensation in their homeland with their catchy tunes, laid-back style, and party-hearty philosophy. Named after Chevy Chase's hapless family in the Vacation movies, the Griswolds were formed in 2012 by singer Christopher Whitehall, guitarist Daniel Duque-Perez, bassist Tim John, drummer Chris Riley, and keyboardist Lachlan West. The group came together after Whitehall and Duque-Perez began working up song ideas together, and one sounded good enough that they thought it deserved a band to play and record it. They had already begun work on their debut EP when they came up with the name the Griswolds, so when they finished recording the song "Mississippi," they wasted no time posting it online. The song was promptly embraced by music bloggers. Radio soon followed, and Australian radio powerhouse Triple J put "Mississippi" into regular rotation; it would become their most played song of 2012.
After their debut EP, Heart of a Lion, climbed the Australian charts, the Griswolds proved they had the live show to back up their skills in the studio, playing memorable sets at the Big Day Out, Parklife, and Homebake festivals, and making their first forays into Europe. In May 2013, the Griswolds made their American debut with a show in Brooklyn, New York, and they were signed by Wind-Up Records, which issued the EP in the United States as "Mississippi" made its way onto the college radio charts. In early 2014, the Griswolds went into the studio with producer Tony Hoffer to start work on their first full-length album. Be Impressive arrived in August 2014 and cracked the Billboard 200. An acoustic EP of Be Impressive tracks followed the next year. Their sophomore LP, High Times for Low Lives, arrived in late 2016. The effort was produced by Grammy winner Andrew Dawson (Kanye West, Pet Shop Boys) and featured the single "Out of My Head." ~ Mark Deming