This is the compelling new EP from Birmingham singer/songwriter/instrumentalist Graywave, (the performing name of Jess Webberley) following a string of creative singles released since 2019.
1.Dreaming. With a relaxed introduction the vocal soon sails in, with the guitars then extracting every ounce from the gliding swoop between the two chords that most of the song is built around. The vocal is luxuriant and elated and the final minute coda when the band let loose is an extra gift.
2.Swallow. Deeper and darker from the outset, but resolving into the insistent and memorable chorus lines.
3.Planetary Shift. Dreamy, haunting centrepiece of the collection with the vocal washing up on the seashore of atmospheric guitar, white noise and piano. The song remains fluid and changing, coalescing into firmer structures then back into an amorphous mix. Probably my favourite track on the EP.
4.Like Heaven. Multiple layers of sound are wrenched from the decibel dense guitar as the drums languidly punctuate the pace. Jess’s vocal soars through the mix; deliberately not escaping but melding into the whole.
5.Before. This addresses the subject of anxiety in the lyric while musically building on a mysterious, echoing cyclical countermelody. This blends with a percussive pattern that starts and stops like an expiring heartbeat. The final minute is a rich explosion of sound; this track crams volumes of emotion and highly charged dynamics into its short run time.
Continuing the build-up to an EP later this year Graywave, the performing name of Birmingham singer/songwriter Jess Webberley, releases a final preview single. In many ways this is a companion piece that climbs down from the all-out onslaught of ‘Like Heaven’ back in December 2020. On that track multiple layers of sound were wrenched from the decibel dense guitar as the drums languidly punctuated the pace. Jess’s vocal soared through the mix; deliberately not escaping but melding into the whole.
Now new song ‘Before’ addresses the subject of anxiety in the lyric while musically building on a mysterious, echoing guitar line. This blends with a percussive pattern that starts and stops like an expiring heartbeat. The final minute is a rich explosion of sound; perhaps contrarily described as ‘#ambient’ on Soundcloud this track crams volumes of emotion and highly charged dynamics into its short run time.
There are hidden gems in the back catalogue of West Midlands based singer/songwriter and guitarist Graywave, the performing name of the multi-talented Jess Webberley.
On ‘Fluid’ from 2019 the poignant guitar and disconnected voice evolves into a huge doom-laden noisewall. The track then moves seamlessly and impressively back into almost a soothing instrumental and multivocals. ‘Afternoon Escapism’ is an evocative title for a languid guitar-line led pop musing. I also really like the dreamlike excursion of ‘Rain’, bringing to mind the best of Canadian indie outfit Alvvays.
Now new single ‘With Me’ takes the music in another direction, featuring a softer edged sound but with more dissonance, looseness of structure and otherworldliness in the music. The vocals have been absorbed into the textures of guitars and insistent drum pulse.
As the bassline descends gracefully and the guitar sparkles and fills the space above, the lyrical mantra ‘…always searching…always yearning…’ speaks of timelessness and longing.
Graywave describes the enigmatic cover artwork as ‘…depicts my bedroom with the addition of a portal leading elsewhere, tying in with the mood of the song….’.
This atmospheric track is released on June 18th, with more music to follow and hopefully some live shows with her band.