For Saya Gray, ‘the listener’ is synonymous with ‘the confidante’. On her debut album, she employs off key tuning to sting erratic textures and quietly poignant lyrics. The revelatory, sensitive nature of the writing is a feat in itself: to have ownership of one’s feelings and spill them like jigsaw pieces. Gray’s mercurial sonic resources, while often rousing, occasionally intercept those pieces being put together, cracking the intended sense of being inside a person’s headspace. On ‘EMPATHY 4 BETHANY’, however, a characterful saxophone solo speak to us. It’s a perfect example of where the artist’s best probative ideas lie: in that fog between familiarity and distance.
A favourite: ‘EMPATHY 4 BETHANY’
‘19 Masters’ is out now via Dirty Hit.