Self-written and self-produced, the debut mini album by William Gray is a real gem. This is quite an achievement bearing in mind it is increasingly difficult to find something orginal from the singer/songwriter scene. ‘None Of The Above’, however, mixes pop, folk and alternative music into a charming and idiosyncratic set of eight short songs.
‘Clutter’ is a typically self-effacing tune, embracing his “slacker” style in which Gray is the clutter referred to in the title and readily admits he has “got no gainful employment”. For ‘Music To Her Ears’, Gray welcomes string accompaniment, ‘Gambling Man’ drips with attractive melancholy and both these songs and ‘Easy Avenue’ possess a warmth and intimacy to add further qualities to his repertoire. Yet ‘Freaky Dreams’ is Gray’s main calling card and certainly deserves wider coverage. Here, Gray’s vocal matches the insouciance of Damon Albarn and it’s accompanied by an inspired mix of drum samples, sitar and strummed guitar. Also, ‘Like Orange Juice On A Newly Pierced Tongue’ bears similar inventive and unusual qualties.
Granted, there are a couple of tracks which don’t convince on the album yet, above all, Gray shows he is predominantly a singer/songwriter and one who demonstrates a real versatility. Let’s hope his next release is just as delightful.
William Gray MySpace