A horrible hack

William Gray

None Of The Above

Year Released: 2009
Format: CD
Label: self released
Reviewed by Oli Saunders on Sep 23, 2009
William Gray is a songwriter from Leeds and this is his first solo album, 8 songs in 25 minutes. It has a modern folk feel in which an acoustic guitar and William's voice is accompanied by a range of other ambient instruments and occasional guest vocals. He has a pretty good voice and things are generally kept interesting throughout, in particular there is really good variation between songs.

'Stop The Rot' kicks off the album. This, along with a few other parts of the CD, reminds me of Bon Iver in places, mainly when the vocals become high pitched. Is that a sitar I hear on the second song 'Freaky Dreams'? These two songs and the third track are solid, though nothing spectacular. I really like the fourth song 'Music To Her Ears' though. It is more stripped down with a basic but really awesome finger picked guitar riff played throughout. Drums play in the background and along with William's vocals which sound really good here, a violin joins in later on in ther track along with some sweet female backing vocals. Pretty sure this is my favourite track on the album.

Track seven 'Gambling Man' is another favourite, melancholic in nature and again is one of the more minimalistic songs. I haven't actually worked out exactly what it's about but it sounds pretty sad. 'Lull-a-bye' is then a nice short outro to end proceedings. Overall this is something I wouldn't normally pick up and listen to but it's solid stuff. Lyrics would have been nice to really see what the songs are about but that's a minor complaint. There are so many people playing folk across the UK and the world that I don't think it's possible to follow all of it. I don't think many people follow small acts like this as whenever I go to folk gigs to see Bristol songwriters there are generally very small attendences, usually friends of the people playing. But this is a good effort worthy of your time if you enjoy the genre of folk so if that's the case give it a listen.

23rd September 2009

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