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If you enjoy Deftones, Sigur Ros, Tycho, ambient music, shoegaze or electronica then you should probably listen to the New Jersey based band Grey Goes Black. Their album And Inside There Was Only Water is filled with lush soundscapes and introspective lyrics. The band consists of Matt (vocals and guitar), James (bass and vocals) and Steve (drums, keys and programming). The album was released on March 31st, 2017 and was produced by Benjamin Feldman at Coffee Haus Studios. At first listen, I noticed that lead vocalist Matt sounds eerily similar to Chino Moreno from Deftones. The long, slow and drawn out vocal inflections create a spacious environment that allow all the instruments to breathe.
The album opens up with Wish and it feels like I'm gliding through the endless and vast universe with no destination in sight. The swirling synths and atmospheric vibe make me feel calm and at peace. The spoken word (given by Chelsea Gohd of NYC based band Foxanne) made me ponder the bigger questions in life. Who are we? Where are we going? What is life? The track then seamlessly fades into Please, which brings me back to reality. The lyrics are emotional and you can really hear the power in Matt's vocal performance. His screams on the chorus (let me go) are beautifully tortured... and he wants out. The opening arpeggiated synth creates a simplistic and melancholy vibe. The track contains piano, bass, electric guitar, drums and tambourine, which all fit together well in this space.
The drum machine sequence that kicks off Running Into Walls makes me want to dance and that bass riff is just grooving. Matt's vocals come in and he describes feeling frustrated and stuck in the same place. The song picks up around 1:14 when the drums come in. This track makes great use of the stereo field. The verses are airy and wavy that build up to the choruses with synth swells. The choruses themselves are huge and full.
Everything You Warned Me About gives me the feeling of driving alone on a cold winter night. It is haunting, yet calm. The guitar really stands out to me in this one. It contains heavy delay and some reverb. It reminds me of the song Everything's a Ceiling by Death Cab for Cutie (around 2:35). The guitars have many elements in common. Even the album Kintsugi has similar vibes to Only Water. I recommend this album highly by the way.
Gone sets the mood right away. It is melancholy. It is empty. It is drawn out. The guitars, piano and bass create a depressing atmosphere along with the vocals. The lyrics describe the loss of pleasure in certain things and feeling like a hollow shell of your former self. Damn. This one really gets me. Definitely best to experience this one in a dark room if you're going through a breakup or aren't feeling your best. It may actually give you some comfort. The disoriented background vocals during the chorus while Matt wails I'm gone is very creepy. This is the most emotional track on this album for sure.
Sunburn in November opens with a take me out to the ballgame-like organ and drum machine. The drums kick in around 1:10. They're heavy and it gives the track some extra weight. I dig the tom tom hits around 1:42. The acoustic guitar (2:42) is sweet, subtle and smooth. I was not expecting the sudden dropout at 3:02. That caught me off guard and made this section more interesting.
The final track Helpless offers shimmers of hope and uplifting positivity. The track starts building to a climax at 3:06 until the very end where everything implodes into a single point. I was expecting the climax to be massive, but they tricked me. I was thinking to myself "when is it going to happen!?" but the drums just become more distorted until Gohd says "and inside there was only water." What a great way to end an album. I could almost see this as a concept album where all the songs kind of blend with one another to create a holistic viewpoint. Everything is well produced, mixed and I enjoy the combination of ambient and electronica elements. Hope to see more of these guys in the future! Check out their Facebook page and Bandcamp. You won't be disappointed.
Favorite Track: Running Into Walls
Chelsea Gohd: Spoken word
Coffee Haus Studios: www.coffeehausstudios.com