Greye’s new single “Everything” turns back the clock and plucks one of the songs from the band’s third album The Worrier for a potentially larger audience than it previously enjoyed. There’s a soulful and almost Americana touch to this new take on “Everything” – the rollicking piano fills, blending of electric and acoustic guitars, and, of course, Hannah Summer’s scintillating vocal invokes familiar styles without ever embracing a single one. Greye’s music and songs, however, are far from any stylistic mishmash.
Various strands can be heard in both the guitars and keyboards. The drumming isn’t especially overpowering but nonetheless maintains a steady pulse. “Greye” hints at anthemic qualities throughout and the percussion helps strike a note of gravitas without ever coming across as ham-fisted or otherwise misguided. I believe the sound of the single does an excellent job getting the acoustic guitar, especially, but Jett Wolfe’s electric playing has crispness throughout as well.
Wolfe, as songwriter, has a strong grasp of how dynamics shape a song’s trajectory. “Everything” has a handful of ear-grabbing passages, and they handle the transitions from one into the next with confidence and skill. There’s an effective use of light and shadow throughout the arrangement without ever erring too much towards any specific side. To take a previously existing song, accentuate its strengths in this area, and essentially remodel it for listeners while retaining its dynamic power is impressive.
Hannah Summer’s vocal, however, is the most impressive part of the song. For me, she should be ranked among the forefront of young pop vocalists today, not just females, and not just indie acts. She has an abundance of oomph she can hit her audiences with and plenty of technique as well. Summer, obviously, sings from her gut, meaning she’s hotwired into her emotions, and it comes through with ease, so keeping a tight hold on that and using it in an artistic way further testifies to the range of her gifts.
Newcomers to the band through this song are well-served but they shouldn’t expect every Greye song they hear after this to sound exactly the same. The same rambunctious spirit that allows them to revisit older material is present in their new material as well. Greye scored an enormous success with their new album So Far So Good, produced by multi-platinum engineer Brian Reeves, and shows off the band’s eclectic reach. The songwriting and production values are cut from the same cloth and never fail listeners.
“Everything” shows Greye is a band hotwired into human experience as well. Their songwriting depicts the pages of our lives in a dramatic way without ever sounding self-important or cut off from what matters most for listeners. They bring a full-bodied and realized sound to the table and you will be hard-pressed to identify any pretentiousness in their approach. It isn’t my first time hearing the band, but I can’t say I am a huge fan. “Everything” makes it much more likely my fandom will only grow from this point forward.
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