Monday, 18 April 2011

Not Another Singer Songwriter part 1

The new theme for mondays came about when I realised I've got an awful lot of stuff by singer songwriters. They kind of went out of fashion for most of the time that I was growing up and getting into music.

In the late 90s they seemed to return with a vengeance, mainly on the back of the bolt out of the blue success of David Gray and especially the single Babylon. So on mondays I'm going to work through the singer songwriters I really like.

So as he has to take some responsibilities for the outbreak of singer songwriteritis I'll start with David Gray. At the time he felt like a bit of overnight success. In fact he had released 3 lps before the big selling White Ladder and was about to chuck the whole thing in.

Century Ends, Flesh and Sell Sell Sell come from a much earthier place. There are no dancey beats of electronic rhythms to smooth off the edges. His vocals are rougher a kind of tuneful celtic Bob Dylan (There was a story I read that when he presented his then girlfriend with White Ladder she said something like thank god he's stopped singing in that awful way)

I'm not sure if the success sat easy on his shoulders and there was definitely a backlash with the follow up to White Ladder (New Day at Midnight).

He went away for a while to recharge and came back with a great lp Life in Slow Motion and since then after another break seems to have rediscovered his energy with 2 lps in 2 years and a sense of settling with what he does best and a dedicated fanbase rather than chasing a repeat of earlier success.

Instead of his later stuff I've gone for something from the earlier recordings, and which is pretty representative of the music of the first 3 lps. I did read that Gutterful of Rain (a reflective relationship breakdown song) was actually about his parents which gives it an added poignancy

Gutterful of Rain - David Gray from Sell Sell Sell

He has a good website which you can find here


Leave a comment and let me know what you are listening to.