Richard Morgan should start betting on the gee gees. As the head honcho behind management company Indie Midlands, every artist he has signed has turned out to be unique, engaging and electifying. Graywave is one of Morgan’s most recent signings, and upon the evidence of new song ‘Before’, he’s backed another winner. We’re backing this one too, with Graywave’s ‘Before’ our ‘Song of the Week’.
Graywave, the stormy sobriquet of Brum balladeer Jess Webberley, has been on prolific form lately. Before Christmas, she unleashed ‘Like Heaven’, a song as epic, sprawling and erratic as its grandiose title suggests. With a new EP, Planetary Shift, on the horizon, too, ‘Before’ is another in a long line of upcoming tracks.
We should be damn thankful. ‘Before’ keeps to Graywave’s now tried and trusted formula—think oblique, Cure-esque arpeggios, echo-laden vocals and ethereal atmospherics—but you can once again see she is continuing to grow.
The drums pound with menace and volatility. The guitars throb with dark splendour. Webberley’s beautiful voice lingers and haunts like a spectre at the feast. But she saves the best part for the end.
If ‘Like Heaven’ was the sound of Graywave ascending into St Peter’s play pit, ‘Before’ sees her plummet to the depths of Hell. It was always coming. You could sense ‘Before’ was a song on a coiled spring. When it unravels, it’s truly magnificient. The guitars stab and shriek with violent fury, the drums are a cacophony of Satanic might and Webberley’s once cherubic voice is wild and frantic. It’s a thrilling finale to another emotional rollercoaster.
With Graywave now celebrating a record deal as well as a forthcoming EP, you can be sure that there’ll be more delightfully dark episodes to come.
Words by Sam Lambeth
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