Some acts are impossible to categorize and Pale Grey is one of those bands. The album ‘Waves’ is the fruition of a year’s work, holed up in the studio, the result is a wide-ranging affair mixing folk-pop, minor introspection, sounds experimentation, hip hop and electronica.
Take, for example, lead track ‘Late Night’ featuring Serengeti, a rapper Pitchfork call a master of “Vivid free-association world building and playing with the joys of repetition”. The single ‘Billy’ was a dream-pop love in, floaty and serenading. There is a bravery in leading with track, the only hip-hop track on the album – but Pale Grey aren’t an act able to sit still – and although the album is a genuine genre-crawl – there is an unmistakable thread linking throughout. The vastness of ideas on display recalls Gorillaz at their most flamboyant.
The Belgian band describe the album as a “Singular atmosphere made of a strong identity, a combination of contrasts and consistency, of contradictions and continuity of evolution and permanency” It’s these juxtapositions that define this eclectic collection of songs.
The process began in 2015 coinciding with a two year mentally-tough European tour. The travelling and the connections the band made honed their tastes and ultimately influenced this album. Take second single, ‘Blizzard’ the way Gilles sings “How can I tell you that I feel fine, I know you don’t believe it” – its reminiscent of Jarvis Cocker, and again, sounds nothing like anything else on the album while remaining distinctively Pale Grey.
Around mid-2016, the French producer Yann Arnaud (Air, Phoenix), became aware of the project. He saw the “huge potential” and began working with the band over the coming months. His influence helped the band move between digital and analogue and revel in the combination of ether and flesh that contribute to the particularity of Pale Grey’s music.
Waves was refined and mixed in Paris, the last flourish and touch to an album bursting with ideas and energy.
When asked to sum up the album the band claim it is about “Kindness and intense humanity.”
Quotes EP Billy (May 2017)
les liégeois de Pale Grey ont trouvé la recette magique avec son post rock pimenté d’electronica du Ep Ghosts.
The Line of Best Fit
Showcasing their diverse sound, “Billy” begins life as a straightforward slice of dream pop lead by an evocative vocal performance, before drifting into darker territories, concluding with a nightmarish clamour of crashes.
A sincere and touching piece, full of words and sounds that reach the bottom and strike chords with listeners.
The song really is the ultimate multi sensory dream-pop experience with folk hues, eclectic textures and honeyed vocals, welded together by an impeccable production.
“the track is the ultimate dream-pop experience and will have your senses tingly”.
Today’s highlight is the latest Pale Grey track “Billy” – a spacious and soothing blend of indie/synth sounds which eventually spin off into something beautifully intense.