Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Grey Gordon Has A Revelation Summer

Grey Gordon
Fort Wayne native Grey Gordon is still riding a wave of momentum after the successful release of his Still At Home Here EP earlier this year, with the EP showcasing Gordon as a razor sharp songwriter with a lonely acoustic bent. His new full-length debut album is different.

Forget I Brought It Up moves Gordon up a notch with an electric guitar and bigger overall sound. The effort essentially shifts the troubadour into new territory. There isn't much of a trade off as Gordon makes his new material slightly more mainstream and accessible, which in and of itself is a gamble.

"Sometimes, the idea of being a professional musician seems utterly absurd," says Gordon. "Anyone who pursues that path knows this. There's a certain loss of innocence that comes with the territory, and that's what this song addresses. It's essentially me trying my best to articulate the constant question that nags at my subconscious: What the hell am I supposed to do if this doesn't work out?"

Forget I Brought It Up brings Grey Gordon into indie rock. 

Gordon might ask that question often, but he doesn't have to ask it. Although the artist has heavy emo influences, the new album delivers a much more consistent and confident indie rock punch.

Target is a bit of an exception. Although lower down on the playlist, No Sleep Records floated it in advance of the debut, catering to the artist's established fans. Some of them will miss the acoustic work, but the songwriting is as sharp as ever.

Target is a call out track, commanding a near straight edge intervention. The message is clear enough. Talk is cheap, action is invaluable. It's especially true when you are in a destructive environment, trying to belong when all it does is make you more alone.

The album opener, Barstools And Haircuts, picks up more power pop indie rock qualities but the lyrics remain faithful to what brought Gordon to this point. Even as the new direction smooths out his sound, it's blatantly clear he hasn't given up using an acoustic guitar to lay down demos.

"It's the record I've been waiting to make since I was kid," he said. "It's a big departure from mellow acoustic jams, but it's still me through and through, and I think listeners will recognize that."

The recognition comes from the composition and a DIY approach to recording. Forget I Brought It Up might be a studio album, but it was recorded on tape with Benjamin Barnett (Kind of Like Spitting) at the helm. For Gordon, the entire process was a dream come true in Sumner, Washington.

After the opener, Gordon moves into a string of tracks that underscore the album's intent. With tracks like the pointed Learned Helplessness, walkaway squall of Count Me Out, and judgmental Hardened Regards, the album's theme  extols the dangers of being directionless. Still, Gordon seems to shine even brighter on tracks that put him in the crosshairs.

Like Atlas is an exquisite driving indie rocker, with lyrics that walk around self-assessment. Revelation Summer explores the risk and self-doubt that come with reaching for your dreams. Kerouac Ending is dynamically layered. All three can be counted among the best offerings on this album before he wraps it up with the heartfelt Apologies (which also has a well- placed instrumental that closes the whole thing on a high note).

Forget I Brought It Up By Grey Gordon Growls 7.8 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale. 

Listening to Gordon progress to this point in his journey is nothing less than remarkable. Forget I Brought It Up conjures up a continuous stream of thought-provoking and emotion-evoking snapshots and questions that are collectively spun together to create a life portrait.

Forget I Brought It Up by Grey Gordon can be found on Amazon or downloaded direct from iTunes. The album, Forget I Brought It Up by Grey Gordon, is also available from Barnes & Noble. For more new and touring information, visit Grey Gordon on Facebook.
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