CDM Holiday Special: Grandma’s Cottage – The Soothing World of Comfy Synth


Grandma’s cottage is regarded as one of the pioneers of the genre of comfy synth along with Childhood Memories, The Friendly Moon and Tiny Mouse to name a few. The genre differs from standard dungeon synth in that it has a cheerful and lighthearted feel to it rather than aiming to be dark, ominous, or epic. It isn’t just the sound that diverges from tradition though, theme wise things are vastly different. The aim of the music is to evoke a sense of nostalgia, innocence, relaxation, and childlike wonder. For this reason, there has been a natural gravitation towards topics/themes that evoke these emotions and what theme could possibly be more fitting than spending Christmas with your beloved Grandmother in her cozy snow-covered cottage.

Personally, I find this music to be a far better approach to capturing the essence of the holiday season than Christmas carols. My reason being that carols have a defined focus lyrically, forcing the experiences and emotions of the artists upon the listener. In contrast, Grandma’s Cottage has no lyrics, allowing the listener to paint whatever images they wish in their head to accompany the music. The music itself may be the conduit but it’s ultimately the listener that will draw connections to their own lived experiences through the emotions stirred up by the expertly crafted tracks found on each of these albums.

On each release the artist, or as he is known The Grandson chooses to focus on slightly different elements of the season. To accompany these themes he works in sound clips and other outside elements to elevate the listening experience and help the listener become fully emerged. I won’t say too much about each album as you can discover them for yourself, but I will give a brief outline of each release’s core themes and concepts.

Precious Moments (2021)

I’m sad to say that this was my first introduction to the artist and the genre but only because I wish I had stumbled across it sooner. Having said that this was a fantastic introduction to the genre and immediately had me hooked. Thanks to this release I went back and listened to all four albums.

One thing that people should note is that this is still dungeon synth to a major extent, sure it has been altered and reshaped but the core is still there. Tracks like 11:00 PM in particular remind the listener of this. There are still epic and inspiring tones present in the mix and these shine through the smoother, more relaxed elements on the release.


Memory Box (2020)

Grandma’s Cottage’s third album Memory Box is the project’s only full-length album to date. it features 11 festive tracks and comes in at over the 25-minute mark.

The album has possibly the heaviest focus on the nostalgia aspect of the project and even sheds any sense of subtlety in this regard. With track titles such as Edwardian Nostalgia and photographs you know that things are going to be looking backwards.


Grandma’s Cottage II (2019)

On his second release The Grandson chooses to focus exclusively on food. With track titles such as snickerdoodle, ginger snaps, jelly jewels and Russian tea balls it will have you both relaxed and craving those childhood holiday treats.

As with all of the other releases in the artist’s catalogue the album has a genuine warmth to it that embraces the listener and makes them feel at home, as if they belong here listening to these tracks.


Grandma’s Cottage (2019)

This is where it all began, the birth of the Grandma’s Cottage project and a founding album of comfy synth music as a genre. While the essence of the later albums can still be found on this release you can tell that the artist hadn’t strayed as far from their dungeon synth base yet.

There are definitely more traditional elements here, both in tone and in song writing. As a result, there’s almost a sense of mystery and adventure in the release that gives way more in later releases to make room for more warmth and coziness.

This is probably a great place to start for anyone with a dungeon synth background looking to get into this style of music.


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