Power trio Girl Ray make their promising debut with Earl Grey

Earl GreyTaking their cue from Cate Le Bon and Veronica Falls, London power trio Girl Ray make guitar music that might fall under the indie umbrella.

In their Facebook page, they name Le Bon and Pixies as influences, and you can kind of see where they're coming from. But even if there’s definitely an indie rock feel to this album, Girl Ray don’t really sound like that kind of act. Part 60s revivalists and part indie rock devotees, Girl Ray is like the C-86 version of Pixies and early Weezer. That is to say that they take the melodies from classic pop acts and turn them into their own thing. The Beatles, ABBA and The Beach Boys are also mentioned on their website, and you can feel their presence on this record. There’s a whole lot of endearing vocal interplay here, as most of these songs include vocal harmonies that would send shivers down Brian Wilson’s spine.

On first listen, you could be forgiven for thinking that Earl Grey is just a slightly above-average guitar pop album, but there’s actually a lot more to it. For starters, Poppy Hankin has a truly outstanding voice. There’s a technical proficiency to her vocals that sets the band apart from other contemporary indie acts. The way she hits those high notes on the opener “Just Like That” is goosebump-inducing and her overall performance on the album is just superb. It should not go unnoticed that the songwriting here is also excellent. You can tell that the members of Girl Ray are dedicated students of pop music from the way they transition into the chorus in “Monday Tuesday”, one of the record’s catchiest tracks.

For the most part, Earl Grey is a pleasant album rather than an impressive one. The melodies are great and the vocal delivery is outstanding on every track, but the instrumentation is usually too middle-of-the-road to actually make an impact. There are a few exceptions, though. The gorgeous piano-led “Stupid Things” grabs you right from the start, and “A Few Months” includes a funky twist that you just won’t see coming. But the most interesting thing here is the 13-minute title track, a complete behemoth of a song which just goes to show the potential of this band.

It’s not without its flaws, but Earl Grey is one of the best debut albums of the year, a solid and promising effort from a band that could become a household name in the near future.

Release: 11th August 2017, Moshi Moshi

One Response to “Power trio Girl Ray make their promising debut with Earl Grey”


  1. Power trio Girl Ray make their promising debut with Earl Grey – Live List - 04/08/2017

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