Band of the Week - Gray Young
It doesn’t often show itself, but I do have a soft side. Very rarely is it ignited when I’m venturing out to find a few friends at our favorite local bar. Sometimes they did have bands playing which was usually more of an annoyance than an evening enhancer. One night, though, while some of my friends were choosing to stand outside with their drinks, I was paralyzed by airy lightly picked guitar chords floating across the room. The rhythm section began to fill the space with their crescendo as the softly sung vocals started their drift. Quickly, this seemingly nonthreatening trio had transformed into a loud, emotionally heavy, yet gentle, giant.
Accidentally stumbling onto a band is just as rewarding, if not more so, than sifting through countless recommendations or genre spot checks. It becomes extremely personal. Gray Young could be easily classified as indie rock, but certainly wouldn’t have any difficulty fitting in with any post-rock outfit. The music is very comparable to the layered sound of Explosions in the Sky with some guitar picked moments of Engine Down and a little bit of pop sensibilities ala Sparta. The bass is actually quite thick for an indie/post-whatever band, and the drums are viciously hit with tight precision. Their is also a Sigur Rós vibe, particularly in the sparsely used echoed vocals. Though captured well on recordings, the sound and emotion (especially that of singer/guitarist Chas McKeown) are showcased best in a live setting.
Where They Started: 2007’s Kindle Field
Where You Should Start: I’ve stated before that it’s harder to recommend an EP over a full length so I would go with their first full length Firmament. The first EP and second full length, Staysail, are good listens, too, but Firmament is definitely the stand out release.
Essential Live Video: