"Nothing Needs to Be Right", a track from Grey Fields' forthcoming debut album, chugs on a carnival-like feel with haunting vocals, showing both atmosphere and entrancing melodies.
Midwestern act Grey Fields officially formed in 2016, but their origin goes back much further. Alex (vocals/guitar/keys) first started playing music with John (drums) when they were sophomores in high school in the mid '90s. An immediate chemistry was created over their love for bands like The Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, The Flaming Lips, Radiohead, Pavement, and other like-minded bands of that era. Years would pass as their parents begrudgingly accepted them playing way too loud in basements, a garage, and even a living room. At the turn of the century they got the opportunity to play a show, but there was a problem — they needed a bassist. Somehow, someway, they convinced Adam (bass/vocals) to learn the set in 24 hours. They pulled it off, then they parted ways to pursue college.
Alex would go on to study composition, theory, and eventually become obsessed with production and engineering. Meanwhile, Alex and John would continue to sporadically play whenever they had the opportunity — even forming a novel two-piece band that was meant for wine and dinner parties. It was around fifteen years later when John and Alex both found themselves playing at a rehearsal studio in Chicago and got an itch to make an album. After a quick recommendation from John to reach out to Adam on social media, the old one-time band was back together and ready to hit the studio.
All three members were born in the early '80s, and grew up on '90s rock. The influence is apparent, acting as the foundation for the music, but hardly the only noticeable factor when considering the structure and atmospheric elements to the songs. In college, Alex started to appreciate orchestral/ambient and experimental composers. Years later his discovery of contemporary composers like Ben Lukas Boysen, Jon Hopkins, Max Richter, Brian Eno, Fennesz and Keith Fullerton Whitman would have just as much influence in the presentation of the songs as the '90s bands which initiated the spark to write music in the first place.
The band's new album focuses on a person’s drive to create change (spiritual, financial, familial, romantic, etc.) while battling myriad obstacles that can come from within. Throughout the album there are questions presented which in some way revolve around the ability to change and the struggles that follow.
On “Transitions of The Truth,” the central question is How did I wander so far away, while “Empty Eyes” asks Will I know when I’m there? “Miracle” and “Nothing Needs to be Right” even repeat the same question: Do you want to leave? These somewhat basic, yet vital existential questions are scattered throughout the songs which are connected to other concepts such as loss, salvation, surrender, escape, and hope.
Orellana is a neo-classical/post-rock collective hailing from Bristol, UK. Their new album “52”, released in late December, brought in the new year with it’s explosive and intricate sound. The project’s music transcends genre definitions in order to focus on a broad, diverse concept that is more emotional than tangible. This particular release is full of rich and diverse arrangements, but it is also a powerful exercise in minimalism, one that showcases the strength of very few notes placed in the right spots. The simplicity of the arrangement is actually one of the strongest aspects of this entire release: there’s a palpable stillness created by the long, drone notes in the background, which almost makes you feel like the world is happening in slow motion. When the chords and notes change, it feels quite monumental due to the beautiful contrast between the stillness of the background textures and the expressive sound of the guitar-based melodies.
Davenport Rex is a music project based in Detroit, Michigan. Their sound is diverse and challenging, yet accessible and appealing. The band’s music stands out as a combination of tasteful progressive rock, with shades of various influences, ranging from alternative to symphonic hard rock, just to mention a few.