1. The new David Gray album comes out this Tuesday and I think it is swell.
The album as a whole is a return to form for Gray. His first new album was released today on Mercer Street Records. Despite a completely new band and a new label, Draw the Line sounds oddly familiar. The song-writing is very reminescent of the early David Gray that I first fell in love with. I must clarify here, I am actually referring to White Ladder, Gray’s fourth record, which was the first one I ever heard. Some of those similarities may be due to the fact that like White Ladder, all of the songs for this record were written completely uninfluenced by a record label contract. Gray was unhindered and able to put himself completely into the songs. “It shines the light on facets of me as a performer, a writer and a singer that I haven’t perhaps illuminated as brightly enough for a long time,” says Gray, commenting on Draw the Line. One of the highlights of the record are when Gray is accompanied on vocals by the lovely Jolie Holland on “Kathleen” and the intoxicating Annie Lennox on the album’s closer “Full Steam Ahead.” It’s not catchy. Nor is it flashy. Ok maybe “Fugitive” is a little bit. But I assure you the rest of it is not. But if you give it some time, I assure you it will give in return. This melancholy mix of minor-keyed ballads is good company, sure to make your ears bleed.
2. I am running a contest to give away a limited edition print of the cover art for Draw the Line.
Here are the details for the contest. Any one can enter (if you live in the U.S.). All you have to do is come up with a David Gray poem or haiku. The contest will be open for the next two weeks, ending Oct. 6th. Myself and the rest of the IHYEB staff will get together and select our favorite poem as the winner. Make sure and leave your e.mail address so that we can contact you if you win.