Birmingham dreampop singer-songwriter, Graywave (Jess Webberley) brings us her brilliant debut EP, “Planetary Shift”. The Indie Midlands‘ artist has been taking the local scene by storm and I believe she has great promise to really make it.
Graywave was my favourite discovery from last year so I have been super excited for this release because she has incredible talent. It is a gift to know that you are going to be blown away by new music before the first listen, but that’s a reputation she holds with me and I was not disappointed.
I have reviewed three of the songs from this five-track EP before so I will link to my full write-ups of those particular tracks.
The EP opens with upbeat “Dreaming”, a song about wanting to do better and realising that we have the power to do just that. I think it carries a good message, one that I hope to incorporate better in my own life. Just like the title suggests, you do get a sense of like you’re dreaming, especially during the intro.
I particularly like the drums in this track – but maybe that’s the drummer in me – they had my feet tapping to the beat. In the final quarter of the song they fuse nicely with a roaring guitar and I have a feeling it will sound awesome live.
“Swallow” draws you in with intricate drum and bass lines before the spellbinding vocals kick in. She genuinely has a brilliant voice that has the power to entrance you, which suits this single perfectly because the repeated change between major and minor keys give serious psychedelic vibes.
Title track of the EP, “Planetary Shift”, acts as a bridge between the light first half of the EP and the darker second half. Her almost-haunting vocals draw you in and get you drunk in an eerie dream state aided by the use of delicate piano and acoustic guitar.
There are many components of this song which I find interesting, like the use of percussion in the bridge and the continuous howling noise that runs in the background throughout. It works really well and adds to an already compelling affect. Unlike the other songs, this one is solely produced by Webberley and it is fantastic.
The first single off this EP, “Like Heaven“, combines grunge guitar and rock drums with dreampop vocals. The opening is delicate but it builds into something full of life and energy which is consistent throughout the song, even when elements are stripped back.
Finally, but by no means least, we have “Before“. This is a favourite single of 2021 for me so far and it has been one of my most listened to tracks since its release in January. Opening with a melancholic guitar line that loops throughout, a strong bass line, cool drum sequence and soul-stirring vocals are then layered to guide you through a song about anxiety and the feeling of regression.
It then builds into something bigger, louder, with her singing the choral hook, “like before”. Almost screaming. This eruption of sound is a force to be reckoned with.
As I said when I reviewed “Swallow”: “Her imagination knows no bounds and that’s one of the things that sets her apart from the rest out there. She doesn’t limit herself by genre standards, she makes what she wants to make and I rate that about her.” This still very much applies.
This amazing EP is available to pre-order on vinyl via Bandcamp too and I cannot wait to get mine.
Graywave is also brilliant live and I am looking forward to seeing her perform again over the next couple of months. I recommend going along to a gig where she is on the line-up, you can check out her future events and buy tickets for them here.
Her music gives you chance to escape and it has certainly helped me do just that during difficult times.
Check out “Planetary Shift” on all the usual platforms.