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David Gray

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David Gray


Welsh singer-songwriter David Gray had enjoyed immense success in Ireland for years before the rest of the world caught up with him. His simple, acoustic-fronted songs are canvasses on which Gray paints emotions, with his hoarse vocals acting as the brush with which he recreates scenes from his soul. Leaving Wales to go to school in Liverpool, Gray drifted through various bands trying to find his place in the world of music. Eventually he started doing his own solo work and moved to London. He signed with Hut Records shortly thereafter, releasing A Century Ends in 1992 and Flesh in 1994. Despite strong reviews and some astonishing live performances, his music oddly failed to ignite and he was dropped by his label. He continued to play out live, and a performer-audience connection was forged in Ireland, where the crowds appreciated the singer's stark, emotional style. EMI snapped Gray up and in 1996, Sell, Sell, Sell was released. Again, the musician hit the road, this time in support of Radiohead and the Dave Matthews Band. But although the audiences were larger, sales stayed flat and he was dropped. Again. Thoroughly deflated, he went on a writing spree and with a "glass is half full" sort of optimisim, began recording his fourth album, White Ladder in his London studio apartment. The self-financed project was released on Gray's own IHT Records in 1998, and almost overnight found itself firmly lodged in the Irish Top-40, where it remained for quite some time. Dave Matthews, whom had befriended Gray on their earlier tour, signed him to his imprint label, ATO Records and released White Ladder stateside in 2000. American audiences warmed to the stirring single, "Babylon," and White Ladder went gold by the end of the year, and platinum a mere two months later. There was a glut of David Gray reissues in 2001 as well as The EPs 92-94, which consisted of three singles from A Century Ends, his very first single, "Birds Without Wings" and various other musical tidbits. This was quickly followed by 2002's A New Day at Midnight, which went gold for the singer-songwriter, despite the fact there wasn't another "Babylon" on the album. In 2005, Gray branched out from "bedroom recordings" and entered a proper recording studio with Marius De Vries (Rufus Wainwright, Madonna, U2, etc) producing. The resulting album, Life In Slow Motion, spills over with low-key but radio-friendly songs and an expansive aesthetic.
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