tue 28/11/2023

CD: Girl Ray - Earl Grey | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Girl Ray - Earl Grey

CD: Girl Ray - Earl Grey

London trio’s debut album is a winning update of Eighties indie archetypes

We are not sheep, we are Girl Ray

Girl Ray. Man Ray. Geddit? Earl Grey, the debut album from London female three-piece Girl Ray isn’t as freewheeling as the art of the man whose name they rework, but it is strikingly reminiscent of a particular strand of introspective 1980’s British music which balanced thoughtfulness with an awareness of classic reference points.

While Girl Ray aren’t making things overtly explicit, there’s the Laura Nyro/Todd Rundgren piano arpeggios opening “Stupid Things”, and an Elizabeth Fraser trill to “Just Like That’s” vocal. The epic 13-minute title track, coloured with electric piano, organ and trumpet, is built on a Brazilian rhythmic undertow and a jazzy, early Postcard Records approach to how a guitar is strummed, while echoing the structure of the Velvet Underground's “I’m Sticking With You”. Most of all though, it’s Felt which come to mind. Despite its slightly muddy production, Earl Grey’s 12 songs add up to more than the sum of its constituent parts. Rather than being a patchwork quilt, the oft-brooding trio’s music is cohesive and instantly identifiable. Were Blanco y Negro Records still going, Girl Ray would have been snapped up.

Hit picks: the swinging “Don’t go Back at Ten”, the swooning “Cutting Shapes”, the mostly skeletal, spectral “A Few Months”, the baroque “Stupid Things (reprise)” and the ambitious “Earl Grey (Stuck in a Groove)”.

Were Eighties label Blanco y Negro Records still going, Girl Ray would have been snapped up


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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