Just making sure everyone is on the same page today: Greylag’s debut EP The Only Way To Kill You has officially dropped. And as promised last March, I’ve put together some thoughts to share about it (but none of mine are as deep as the band’s)…
First of all, don’t expect to be blown away by funky cover art or sexy photos. The Only Way To Kill You is dressed in a simple white sleeve, decorated with a bow and arrow and a few geometric shapes. It’s nothing to swoon over, but consider this tip: simplicity can speak as loudly as any Iron Maiden cover. The design is calm, thoughtful, precise, and the fact that it’s so underblown is a promising beginning already.
In the player, it really becomes apparent that this is no Iron Maiden record. Andrew Stonestreet and Daniel Dixon have obvious guitar-picking prowess, but the similarities end there (and so will this Iron Maiden tangent I’ve caught myself in). So who are they like? According to their press release, the band is hesitant to compare themselves to other artists, but notes Wilco, Feist and Grizzly Bear as inspirations. I’ll stick with Local Natives, Fleet Foxes and throw in some Peter Wolf Crier.
As far as the music itself goes, I’ve already praised the excellent single “Black Crow” (the catchy, soaring vocals will stick in your head for hours). But let’s be fair here and give credit where it’s due. Greylag had me hooked me with the opening track “Into the Woods.” This song is full of toe-tappin’ guitar jangles, bright ‘n shiny hi hat, and cymbals – a perfect fit with my folksy, bluesy regulars.
Final thoughts are on content, because I believe a person should never miss an opportunity to over-analyze lyrics. There’s more to The Only Way To Kill You than folk guitars and harmonies. Each song is incredibly intimate, lending itself to a theme of self discovery and refinement. It’s the kind of uncomfortable content one might shrink away from but shouldn’t. Be bold and listen to my personal favorite “Outgrown,” which ends with the ponderous lines the hands up on the wall are spinning / faster than I ever thought that they would spin.
So go – follow the buttons below and listen to what I’ve decided is an incredibly thorough debut. The Only Way To Kill You showcases Greylag’s impressive range and skill through 25-ish minutes of springy ups and hazy downs. Precise and thoughtful indeed.