‘Earl Grey’ by Girl Ray (Album)

13 October, 2017 in Music Reviews

Girl Ray. Photo: Neil Thomson

Girl Ray: formed over a love of Tom Rundgen and Cate Le Bon, and a hatred of Hollister Photo: Neil Thomson

The road to adulthood is fraught with dramas and despair. Girl Ray document everything in a unique and refreshing way

Girl Ray 'Earl Grey' album artworkGirl Ray are Poppy Hankin (guitar, vocals), Iris McConnell (drums) and Sophie Moss (bass). Naming the band after the avant-garde artist Man Ray, Girl Ray came together while at school, forming over a love of Todd Rundgren and Cate Le Bon, and a hatred of Hollister. Who can blame them?

Girl Ray’s debut album Earl Grey has a clear sound; the songs are heart-breaking, but soothing. Hankin softly sings her striking, confessional lyrics, proving that when you’re miserable, you only write miserable songs. But that’s not to say the songs are overly self-loathing and pitiful. There is a dry and understated sense of humour behind the lyrics – something only British people excel at.

Latest single Don’t Go Back At Ten is about the bonds of friendship. It is abundantly clear that the three members are so close they could be linked telepathically. The song is a typical example of Girl Ray’s songwriting style, with its coolly strummed guitar, subtle bass line grooving in the background and drums tip-tapping an elegant beat.

Other stand out tracks are Preacher, Stupid Things and Trouble. All have an experimental quality, especially the guitar chords. The progression usually goes in a direction that you’re not expecting. A technique that throws the listener, but at the same time remains satisfying to the ear.

The band also have a knack for making music videos. Playing out like short movies with proper actors, titles and everything; they’re a work of art.

Girl Ray are on the verge of something exciting. They are going to be a lot of people’s favourite band, if they’re not already. The album is a must listen, and check out Girl Ray’s festival and tour dates from now until November.

Verdict: Songwriting from the heart

Dave Chrzanowski