words by tom johnson
Over the past couple of years, the London-based label Hand In Hive has found a knack for unearthing musical gems, working with the likes of Wyldest, A.O. Gerber, and Blackaby on a string of sparkling releases. That gold run continues today with the news that they’re releasing the debut album from LA songwriter Gracie Gray. Formed by ten captivating tracks, the anna LP is released February 4th 2022, and is preceded today by the sharing of brand new track ‘alienlover’ and its accompanying video.
Informed by DIY aesthetics – Gray produced the whole record in her bedroom – the new track makes for the most compelling of introductions. Led by her burned-out, washed-out voice the track subtly builds into something beautifully compelling as the guitars swirl around, creating a dream-like atmosphere with no tangible beginning or end.
“alienlover is related to a narrative I created that was inspired by a dream,” Gray says of her new song. “The idea is that an alien could fall in love with a woman but knows it cannot be with them. It watches her life on earth from above, sending her signs of its presence. The alien communicates its adoration for her by sending down art for artists to see in their mind and create, whether it be a song, dance, painting, etc. The woman experiences certain art throughout her life and knows it’s for her. She feels loved and seen, but isn’t sure how or why.”
Despite its extraterrestrial narrative, “alienlover” hints at the album’s wider themes of love and longing, some of which are presented in obscured ambiguity, while others glow brightly without restraint. “This song means a lot to me because I feel like I barely wrote it consciously,” Gray continues. “I do believe that some songs are similar to living organisms that we create, share with the world, and then they live longer than us, being with people in moments and places we could never. They can end up moving things around inside of people’s minds that nothing else could, giving them a completely different perspective on a situation.”
The new album’s shadowy centrepiece, “alienlover” certainly deserves to find itself carried to new corners of the world, into new hearts and minds – and you can begin that journey yourself by checking out the song below right now.
A MUSIC JOURNAL – ISSUE 9
Our Curious Printed Magazine