New Music – Ezra Grey ‘Afterall’ EP Review

Soaring vocals that take flight with passion and power to ascend to dizzying emotive heights. There is a rugged and raw truth to every chord that lends authenticity to the beautifully bright and well produced sound.

The EP kicks off with the title track ‘Afterall‘. There is something distinctly retro to the songwriting that feels like a deliberate throwback to the 90s in terms of composition and overall approach. There is no individual trick, tone, or technique that is instantly identifiable but it is so refreshing to hear songs that buck the short attention span rush to the hook or instantaneous choruses of the modern musical landscape. Each song lingers in lovingly crafted bridges, indulgent interludes, and captivatingly creative solos. There is passion for the artform, and this is immediately clear from the passionate vocals, poets pen, and powerful thrust of this first track.

Yael‘ feels like the closest point to a traditional love song, the sublime swoon and strut of the vocals on this have that crackle of satin of skin, they prickle with the emotive intent behind every word. As a vocalist Ezra Grey is uniquely gifted with the ability to sell the soul of every line and lyric, there are no unneeded trills or whistles, every lilting lift and feathery fall has blood coursing through its veins. The music that underscores these vocals is every bit electric and energetic though and its as you pick apart the pieces of each track that you reveal the luscious layering and careful craftmanship that has gone into it.

Next up we have ‘Horrorshow‘, which switches up the sound with its skittering strum that tickles out a tasty little tune that creeps and crawls in ferally fierce fretting fingers towards the undeniable groove and cooing croon of its chorus. This track is a standout on the EP and for Yack it’s the personal pick for favorite track. The guitar work on this is at another level, the composition is utterly enthralling, it is unique, and it oozes sex appeal and lyrically it beckons the listener to dive a little deeper into the meaning of it leaving a delicious trail of breadcrumbs leading into its horrorshow heart.

Bliss‘ is cleansing, calming, and captivating. It is the softest moment on the EP and treats the listener to another side to Ezra Grey‘s sound and songwriting. Lyrically it is honest and heartfelt, direct and to the point. The powerful poetry to this approach is that it lets the listener feel as if they exist in this dream in the head of the writer right there beside them. It is disarmingly vulnerable and while at first it feels as if it might be a kitsch sweet moment, ‘Bliss‘ actually reveals its bittersweet heart through its lyrical journey. This is truly expert songwriting that rewards the listener with greater depth and understanding on the second play through.

With ‘Into The Sun‘ we build on this sound, it exists in that same dreamy realm, but with an infusion of new energy and vibrating resonance. The song builds up from that silky soft start, into a swell that cascades into the crescendo of its chorus. The vocals are so perfectly paced and placed to dance delicately in perfect harmony with the peak and flow of the blossoming music. This is the perfect track to listen to the production, mixing, and mastering that has been so expertly done, allowing each track to truly shine.

The EP closes with ‘Whispers In The Dark‘, which true to its name utilizes breathy and gentle vocals atop a wriggling jazzy little riff to tell its story. The solo in the middle of this track is the EP’s best, it isn’t spectacular in showboat showmanship, but it perfectly encapsulates Ezra Grey‘s approach to subtle, skillful, and serene songwriting. A song filled with joy, playful poetry, and intrigue, the instrumentation and vocals are at their best in perfect harmony on this track.

Ezra Grey has a voice with enough warmth to melt snow. The EP showcases the emotive depth and electric energy that these vocals imbue every line with, and the pen behind those lines is every bit as expertly wielded as the microphone. Each song on this EP is a refreshing break from the current standard, it is a throwback to a time when musicians made music with love and careful attention paid to every section and string. This is a musicians musician and the more you dissect the sound and structure the more layers you will find.

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