Saturday, 7 October 2017

EP: NC Grey - Magic the EP

NC Grey - Magic The EP

Info: Drawing influences from Amy Winehouse, Nina Simone and Sade Adu, and with a unique blend of Soul, Jazz and R&B music, NC Grey is revered across Ireland’s live music and festival circuits, with critically acclaimed performances at Cork Jazz Festival, Body & Soul Festival and the Africa Day Festival among others, already under her belt, and strong support from Ireland’s biggest radio tastemakers including RTE2FM, RTE Pulse, Dublin City Radio and Dublin’s 98FM.

Speaking about the inspiration behind Magic The EP, NC Grey says, "My goal with 'Magic The EP’'was to be vulnerable. To let myself show the different stages I’ve been at personally: the love, excitement, pain and uncertainty, and to create something that lyrically, everyone can relate to. A mentor once said to me, 'I want to feel what your feeling through your music', and I’ve taken that on board for this project. I want my listeners to get lost in the sound and FEEL the feeling".

Oh damn there are so many levels I love NC Grey's Magic the EP on. From the opening bongo beat to the majesty of the upright bass straight away at the 10-second mark I'm in soul-jazz heaven with 'Holiday', and on my first listen, was desperate to peruse the remaining tracks without delay. The curl of Grey's vocal at the end of each chorus line, the shaker percussion, the free-style keyboards and the delightful swing of everything as one is joyous.

On the EP's lead single 'Adonis' (which is set to be joined by a music video over the coming weeks) you cannot help but step back in time to an era when you have wished on so many occasions that you could visit. It is hard to contemplate how pristine and clear Grey's vocal is, not just here but across the entirety of the four tracks. The be-bop jazz stylings are everywhere and the EP's title may have been referencing so other aspect of her song-writing, but for us it means only one thing.

By no means residing in a space influenced purely by the past, Grey's 'Toxic Love' takes on a sturdy contemporary alternative soul sound, I'm not sure why exactly, but I'm getting a mash-up of Florence and Bat for Lashes on this one both musically and vocally, with that Spanish guitar adding something surprising and well-placed into proceedings. We close with 'Magic', which perfectly straddles the past and the present, like a classic late 60's folk song that arches into modern vocal-pop, an instrumental redux in comparison to its predecessors, Grey's vocal showcased beautifully with the backdrop of a fading thunderstorm. 

On Magic the EP NC Grey presents a collection of sounds which you once wondered would ever resurface with such quality. It's a very exciting release for fans of bone fide jazz and soul whilst at the same time holds massive appeal for those with an inclination towards contemporaneous music, in a nutshell, for music fans, everyone wins with her debut EP.

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