by Thomas Bedward April 22, 2022
A unique and timeless artist who has caught everyone totally off guard, Gray Days first appeared on the music scene with the release of his debut single, ‘Transcend’. A nostalgic and wonderfully heartfelt piece, ‘Transcend’ set a standard that Gray Days has been building on ever since, impressing fans and critics alike with his evocative dark indie sound.
Recently, we spent some time getting to know Gray Days and ‘Going Nowhere’, a triumphant sophomore single that instantly encapsulated a shimmering acoustic sound and an undeniable sense of isolation. In true form for Gray Days, it was a stark and revelatory moment, delivering relatable, poetic lyrics and a wealth of heartfelt sentiment.
Now, Gray Days has taken things a step further, revealing the latest chapter in his musical adventure with the release of ‘Drifting’, his wonderfully textured and ultimately undeniable debut album.
Released on the 22nd of April to quiet acclaim, ‘Drifting’ brings together Gray Day’s initial singles and seven original tracks to create a soft, expressive, and disarming release, one that shines with sincerity, authenticity, and plenty of sharp acoustic moments. Released with the help of an impressive roster of musicians such as Michael Greville and Adam Church, along with young vocalists Pearl Burdon, Audrey Greville, and Polly Trevelyen, the album is everything we’ve come to expect from Gray Days, and so much more.
Opening with the solitary acoustic chords of ‘Daisy Chains’, the album wastes no time in asserting itself, delivering a dark, progressive sound that revels in tender vocals and calling atmospherics as Gray Days croons “that feeling is back again” over expressive shoegaze elements. In ‘Afterlife’, easy alternative sounds wash over more hopeful guitar notes, creating a breakaway anthem about freedom and not holding yourself to society’s standards. It’s a wonderfully light and melodic piece, offering a new side to Gray Day’s sound that until now has been hidden away.
In the third cut ‘Searching’, Gray Days presents a calling acoustic track that is reflective in every sense of the word, offering a balanced and introspective melody that is filled with sounds of yesteryear. As ‘Searching’ comes to a close, we’re treated to the familiar sounds of ‘Going Nowhere’, a song that is as poignant on the album as it was as a standalone release. As the album continues, highlights abound in tracks like ‘Limelight’ and ‘Worlds Dividing, two cascading singles that each bring their own character and appeal to the album. On ‘Limelight’, there’s some gorgeous percussion and light ruminative tones that fade in and out with the vocals, while ‘Worlds Dividing’ hits hard with a far more overt rock sound. It’s rough and ready, hitting with a heavier sound that shakes with elements of the Stone Roses’ ‘Second Coming’.
In the closing three tracks, we’re treated to the familiar tones of ‘Transcend’, while ‘Drifting’ and ‘Breath’ work perfectly to provide closure and send of progress. Musically, they’re both light, flickering tracks that are endlessly endearing, and their wistful, rolling compositions act as perfect backing for Gray Day’s vocals.
Shining through the haze of everyday life, ‘Drifting’ is a cohesive and illustrative look behind the musical moniker, bringing nine fully formed and wonderfully orchestrated tracks into the light. With glimpses of The Smiths and early Morrissey, along with an enduring brit-pop sound that has been brilliantly repurposed and revitalised, the album is a restless exploration of life and the human condition.
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by Thomas Bedward May 26, 2022
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