Gray Young

Firmament

Written by: DR on 31/08/2009 00:12:31

Every so often a band so surprising and unexpected will come along, grabbing your attention and stealing your affections, rising their way to the top of your playlist and probably staying there until you've either played them to death, or the Gods compose an album and release it in our fair world; if you couldn't already tell where I'm headed - Gray Young are one of these bands.

They came to me under the tag of 'Indie', which added a significant contribution to just why I was so amazed by this band. There's very little here that you'd associate with 'Indie', and very much that you'd associate with post-rock. The vocals are peppered, used sparsely, and used only to add to the layers which the incandescent musicianship masterfully builds. From the instant the drums and guitars build on opening track "Provenance" you know this won't be just another album. "First Perennial Fall" demonstrates almost Balmorhea-esque soundscapes with superb use of piano which encourages one to instantly think of the beauty of falling rain. Similarly, "Convoy" uses frontman Chas McKeown's mellow vocals to build on such soundscapes. Every song sounds delicate, gentle and yet ambient.

It's surprising to understand that with such a textured and dynamic sound there are only three members of Gray Young, but each member is as talented as the next, perhaps it is their lack of numbers which allows each instrument to have its own spotlight which ultimately adds to their sound. Oh, and their sound leans closely on a few other bands out there, but Gray Young have, as all great bands should, a sound of their own. It may be a little premature to label Gray Young as 'great', but if they keep making albums of this quality pretty soon it won't just be me speaking of them in such high regard. Without meaning to sound pretentious (a label occasionally known to follow post-rock), this is not an album for narrow-minded mainstream masses, there are no lyrics about partying nor any songs that scrape by because of one simple catchy chorus alone; the tracks are carefully constructed for your listening pleasure, for you to unravel the thread behind the exceptional musicianship, and just when you think this album has nothing left to give, the thread unravels a little bit more.

Download: Tilling The Wind, First Perennial Fall, Sway
For Fans of: Explosions in the Sky, Mogwai, Balmorhea
Listen: Myspace

Release date 29.01.2009
Self-Released

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