Graywave sounds just like their name implies. Hefty, emotive, and slow burn through a lens of shoegazey sensuality. Reminiscent of early ’00s alt-rock, Graywave demonstrates the vibe they’re going for effectively. It’s a decent EP that is immediately re-listenable, and delivers on a few fronts.
The aesthetic choices develop myth and vibe well. As Rebirth indicates new beginnings, and song titles such as “Red” and “Exoplanet” contribute spacey elements that fit well within the entire heavy-yet-weightless vibe that is prevalent throughout. While the previous EP Planetary Shift leaned into her more dreampop elements, this release chooses the heavier route landing in the foggier territory of shoegaze.
All the tracks operate in bricklaying fashion, delivering various elements but foundational structure to the towering end product. It’s a deliverable and approachable format that gives a lot of audio nerds enough to sink their teeth into.
The lynchpin of “Build” is a meaty reverberated bassline that ties the underlying elements together in a dark tinged allure. Jess Webberly does a fantastic job delivering prolonged and nightly whimsical vocals that trail and slither to cool effectiveness before bringing it back on track for smooth transition. “Closer” slow dances much like proto-shoegaze and dark country of the ’80s, with Jess loosely lacing the elements together for a heavier chorus and ascension to the sound she’s striving towards, and descends just as intricately, but ends a little too abruptly. That abruption gives off a sense of a snapshot of one’s journey, albeit psychonautical, astronautical, or both.
There are some shortcomings, however. Although only five tracks, the EP does lack some compositional dynamic, but that’s not really a bad thing, considering how short the EP is. Graywave tends to squeeze blood from stone, and as admirable as this is, some ideas lean towards retread territory. My thoughts and feelings on this change, though, based on however I’m listening to it. Listening in an open environment leans towards too much familiarity, but with headphones the drowned out features illuminate.
This EP is heavy most of the time, but not aggressive. Comparable to NOTHING or Slow Crush, but would also make sense being on the bill alongside Panopticon or Violet Cold. It’s easy to get lost in the details, and I’m not sure if that’s by design, but wholly appreciative, as the main focus of Jess’s entire vibe seems to be content on getting lost. This sound isn’t going anywhere fast, and that’s to its advantage, as it could accompany and soundtrack mind wanderers and travelers alike with its twilight meets dawn composition.
On a sidenote, I would be remiss if I didn’t display my appreciation for Lucy In Disguise‘s single “Make Me Wana Run” featuring Graywave on vocals. It’s a clean, and starry combination that does a decent job of highlighting each artists’ key strengths. Graywave has such a natural soft vocal allure that lingers and trails off in gorgeous fashion that pairs well with LID’s neon warmth. Although released last year, it’s increasingly taking the reins.
This is a decent delivery of five songs that deliver haze and gaze in novel fashion. With elements that teeter, and flare, while others stretch out comprehension organically deliver commendable authenticity. I was glad to have stumbled upon this EP. It’s a decent introduction to an artist I was completely unaware of, and stated a fantastic case for fandom and follow. I’d be curious to see what Jess can do on a full LP if she ever chooses to bless us with such.