Tag Archives: review

My Names A, Your Names Zed… New Music from El Grey

For the creators and for the fans, active listeners or passive listeners, music has the power to move us all incredibly deeply. Sometimes we’re right here- in the moment and sometimes we’re floating in a sea of sounds- we blissfully lose ourselves for a tiny while.

And sometimes we’re both- Here and There.

The latest release My Names A, Your Names Zed from El Grey is exactly that.

el grey my names a your names zed
My Names A, Your Names Zed

If you’re already a fan of El Grey you’ll come to expect haunting, stunning and breathtaking vocal performances as standard. You’ll also expect crunchy beats mixed with a wash of synths and gentle acoustic guitars. You’ll also be aware that her music is deeply personal to her and each song is a little piece of her soul, committed to record.

Take all that you already know about El Grey and put a little twist on it. You won’t find this track anything like her previous release El Grey, but you will find her distinctive, trademark vocals affirming her ardent passion right here. Glistening synthy motifs bounce over and back a sound world of luscious piano playing and looped, reverberant vocals. Instantly you’re taken by the hand of El Grey herself into the infinite cosmos. If you haven’t gotten goosebumps multiple times within the first 60 seconds then you’re not ready for the journey she wishes to bring you on.

Hypnotic yet deeply grounding, her chanting vocal pulls you right into the centre. Looped over and over with additional harmonies, her voice guides the way- “Grab a coat, find a home”. While the chant gives way to a choir of swirly, angelic vocal expressions, we’re lifted further into the heavens, soaring high, looking for Home.

The mood changes somewhat after this point. You’ll hear a male voice enter- another new sound for El Grey. You’ll know that there’s something very special going on here- something very deep and very personal. In absolute contrast to what we’ve been listening to, she sings in her native tongue- and it works brilliantly. Switching languages in one song is a new and brave move for El Grey for she has something personal to say-revealing another dimension of herself and affirming her spirituality though her music.

El Grey

For me the most poignant lyric comes in around the 7-minute mark- “It’s just one heartbeat away from you” with echoes of “one” bouncing around, underpinning it. The music producer in me loves that line. The sentiment in me loves it too. It’s a line I’d hang on to for dear life.

This recording is 100% live and one take only. There was no pre-production. There was no doctoring this up in post-production either. The barest moments of extraneous sounds pop in and out here and there but these are not faults. Such sounds tickle my imagination and for me, they add to the soundscape. The piece in its entirety has a completely natural feel and I’m certain the musicians lost themselves in this performances-lost themselves to find a little something on the way back.

You could use a multitude of words to describe this track (atmospheric, holy, meditative, serene, gripping, stunning, special…) and you could find a multitude of situations to enjoy it in – at home with a candle, on a long, night-drive home, walking around a busy city- for it’s completely immersive and completely El Grey.

Enjoy the music here: My Names a, Your Names Zed – EP by El Grey on iTunes

El Grey: My Names A, Your Names Zed – Music on Google Play

el-F# | El Grey

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El Grey perform tonight at the Hot Spot Music Club, Greystones in support for Oxfam Ireland alongside bands Calm State, Woodlark and Retrofix. More info: El Grey, Calm State, Woodlark, RetroFix play for Oxfam

 

 

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The Minutes Headline New Day Risings Birthday Bash

The Minutes released their debut album “Marcata” on leading Irish independent label Model Citizen Records in May earlier this year, and last night the juggernaut rolled into the seaside village of Blackrock, Dundalk, Co. Louth to headline promoters and defenders of Irish music talent New Day Risings second birthday bash in proper rock’n’ roll fashion. The band have been touring extensively in Ireland playing top music festivals and shows in Europe and the U.S all summer.

The Dublin trio freshly anointed as “the greatest rock n roll band in Dublin” by influential UK magazine Artrocker, delivered an energetic, raw, in-your-face set to a full house of rock ‘ n’ rollers, music fans and an eclectic mix of Halloween spooks following fantastic performances from special guests Tin Pot Operation (Belfast new wave/punk/reggae), The Holy Ghost Explosion (Dundalk alternative rock) and 2Minutes2Midnight (Dundalk rock).

Mark Austin delivers

Opening with “Black and Blue”, drummer Shane Kinsella (the one with sideburns the size of Tasmania!) immediately engaged the crowd with the unmistakable drum intro that commands the listener to throw various shapes, voluntary or not! Loud, raw and powerful, the Minutes sweat their way through an urgent 13 song set of which included fantastic crowd interaction (singer/guitarist Mark Austin calling the audiences vocal participation as “sexually superb” on “Black Keys” and “Fleetwood” especially), brilliantly structured songs, thumping drums, screaming guitars, and hollering vocals (bass player Tom Cosgrave- the tall, cool one, added perfect harmony).

It was a personal delight of mine to hear a proper rock band play proper rock on properly looked after instruments! The kick drum was a thing of musical beauty which stood out to me, properly tuned drums despite the brutal attack they received at the end (see photos below!). The truly professional band employ an eager stage-hand who sweat every bit as much as Austin during the show, picking up falling microphones, swapping guitars, tending to every detail to ensure the Minutes delivered an unforgettable show safely and smoothly. Cheers to the anonymous stage tech, the unsung hero!!! Front of house sound despite the awkward position of the stage (and the mixing desk) was top quality, another smooth job thanks to the Minutes long time sound engineer Matt Burgess, he employed wonderful slap-back delay effects on Austin’s vocal and balanced the bands sound despite the mixer desk being positioned in a bass trap. Another unsung hero of the night!
The Minutes ended their explosive set in proper rock n roll fashion
The Minutes live in Harrison's, Blackrock, Co. Louth

“Marcata” (named after the famous upstate New York studio where the band nailed their red-hot 12 track record in 5 days) is available in all good record stores in Ireland and Europe. An essential in any rock music collection. I highly urge you to see the band live when they play in your local town!

Visit THE MINUTES | Debut Album MARCATA now available in Europe on iTunes and all good record stores... for everything Minutes related.