Gracie Gray - Oregon In A Day
Weightless, tumbling and turning. Oregon in a Day, the first full-length solo album from Gracie Gray, will travel with you when you’re stranded in the muck and slow the eff down. The Los Angeles songwriter also comprises half the electro-pop duo, Annaland. However, her solo album contains the intimacy of a raw heart and bravely explores the fullness of empty space. Aside from a sprinkling of collaborations on three tracks, Gray dove headfirst into a space of self by producing and recording the album in the sanctity of her own bedroom. As the album progresses, the listener becomes a lovely and lonely fly on that wall.
Gray’s soft, airy vocals double and layer delicately over a hypnotic and sweet guitar, but the tone also grows bittersweet. The album’s first and title track opens with haunting repetition: “Everyone is gone... Everyone is gone…” This line resounds like the hazy and sharp realization felt when a close connection severs, and the loneliness sinks in. The simplistic instrumentation matches the beautifully complex guitar, which nods at influences from Nick Drake and Elliot Smith. As the album progresses, confidence shines through in the journey of the antagonist, and each song feels like some kind of weight lifted. Upon reaching “Bring Me a Little Water Silvie,” the album takes a turn, and stomps and claps color the song—reminiscing of Feist singing the classic folk song, “When I was a Young Girl” on When I Was a Young Girl. Gray’s “Howl” refreshes, and with optimism at time. Then, a wistful version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” echoes flavors of Jeff Buckley.
Her accompanying music video, “Morphine,” beautifully executes the feeling of the whole album. Gray sits alone in her room where everything is blue, and the atmosphere slows for introspection. In one fleeting shot, the image of a mysterious, lurching house appears; even in person (this same house happens to be in my neighborhood), the structure seems haunted. But in the world of this video, it haunts with the ghosts of one’s past. The video doesn’t end there, and after tossing and turning in her room—trying to find herself in the mirror—the battle becomes getting outside. And when she finds the outside of her own room (either physically, or the within confines of the mind), there is light, and sunshine, wind, and relief.
Oregon in a Day is available for stream and download now, and the release show kicks off Sunday, July 7th at the Bootleg Theater with support from FYOHNA, Tim Carr, and MILLSTEIN.
Written by Alyssandra Nighswonger