Saturday, August 5, 2017

Song(s) of the Day # 1,294 Girl Ray

It's sheep we're up against. The Housemartins knew that only too well way back in the mid-eighties. It seems that nothing much has changed. Or ever really will. The album sleeve of Earl Grey, the wonderfully named first album from North London three-piece Girl Ray, (released yesterday), is adorned with images of sheep. Whether this is intended as social commentary or otherwise I'm unsure. What is abundantly clear however is just how wonderful the record within is, and how clearly removed it also is from much of the rest of the current musical flock. If I could do cartwheels, I would!

My initial impression, on first listening to Girl Ray a few days back, was that they were rather fond of Cate Le Bon. The band don't actually make any bones about their affection for Cate, and her influence is there, (certainly in terms of the way they sing),  but there's much much more to Earl Grey than that. In essence, the album is a potpourri of almost everything resolutely leftfield and non-comformist about the British independent music scene since those fabulous, all female bands of the early eighties, The Raincoats, Delta 5, The Modettes and so forth.

There's much about current British culture that frustrates and irritates me but Girl Ray represents, (as well as any record I've heard this year), what I still treasure about it and keep coming back to. A distinctly eccentric and creative sensibility that you could trace back historically and culturally for centuries if you wished to. To the original Earl Grey and beyond. The members of Girl Ray remarkably, are still in their teens and have a long way ahead of them in terms of musical 'careers'. This is some initial statement! Time for a cup of tea...

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