David Gray – Foundling
Haunting. Somber. Dark. Sorrowful. Mysterious. All of these words can be used to describe David Gray’s new album, Foundling. There are 11 tracks on the album, and a bonus disc with 8 more songs. When I first started listening to this new material, I was a bit surprised. It was so stripped down and understated. It seemed to be missing those layers of intricacy I know in Gray’s music… and the momentum and build up in the songs just wasn’t there. But the more I listen, the more I realize that each piece of every tune is still crafted just as carefully as anything we’ve heard from him. And overall, the material is just as sad (depressing, even) as anything Gray has written. It’s still very much David Gray.
The first track (my favorite track), “Only The Wine” has a playful and light melody but the following 9 tracks are incredibly slow and could lull you to sleep if you were tired. The title track, “Foundling” is exceptional. With a haunting accordion moan, low saxophone blasts, and hand drums, the tune pulls you in from start to finish. Throughout the rest of the album you’ll find beautiful piano-work and gorgeous string sections (as one would expect from David Gray). Track 11, “Davey Jones’ Locker”, picks up a bit to finish the album and on the bonus disc, there are a few fun, upbeat tunes like “Indeed I Will” and “A Moment Changes Everything”. As always, Gray knows how to pluck at heart strings with lines like “I’m fluttering like a dollar to the floor” and “we are just passing ghosts, honey, vapours of joy and hurt” sang in his unmistakable, pain-filled voice.
I think this album will definitely be deemed a snoozer by some folks. But Gray’s aim wasn’t to make a big impact with this record… in fact, by naming the album Foundling he deemed this material as the abandoned child of last year’s album, Draw the Line. Gray has even been quoted as saying, “This record is going to disappear off the face of the Earth, bar some freak occurrence.” So take from this new material what you will… but for me, Foundling is the perfect album for a certain mood. These songs will be my ideal soundtrack to the swirling of dead fall leaves and the gray smear of a Vineyard winter sky.
Listen to clips of all 11 songs here!