As part of his appearance on David Letterman's show, David Gray gave a performance of the eighth track, 'Birds of the High Arctic' from his 2014 album, 'Mutineers'.
David Gray - David Gray and The Beautiful South's Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott perform at The Groove Festival at Kilruddery House in Bray Co. Wicklow, Ireland - 06.07.14. - Dublin, Ireland - Monday 7th July 2014
Contactmusic caught up with David Gray as he gears up to release his latest album 'Mutineers'.
David Gray is set to release his new album 'Mutineers' later this month (17 June 2014) but, as the title suggests, it wasn't all plain sailing. 'Mutineers' is Gray's first album in four years, following 2010's 'Foundling'. One of the main reasons Gray has taken his time with his tenth release is because he chose to do things differently with this album.
'Sometimes, you're staring up at the creative mountain and I was just bored of myself', he admitted, speaking about the record recently to Contact Music. 'I knew all the things I didn't want, but I didn't know what it was I was looking for, so I had to perform a sort of creative traverse, I had to go across the mountain. I was trying so many different things that 'not knowing' became my process.'
Continue reading: David Gray On His Voyage Of Rediscovery With Latest Album 'Mutineers'
David Gray conquered the UK charts for the first time in 2001 with his 'White Ladder' album and has remained high up there ever since with several more albums of mature pop such as 2002's 'A New Day at Midnight' and 2005's 'Life in Slow Motion'. He kindly gave up some of his time to talk to us about his new album 'Mutineers', new relationships, how he finds the song writing process these days and the pros and cons of working independently.
Contactmusic: Hello David, your new album 'Mutineers' is coming out in June, what can you tell me about it?
David: It's a big record for me; I feel I've returned to the source in terms of my writing and my passion for music. I've rediscovered myself on this record so it has a power and it has something extra. I think there are record cycles, but then beyond that there are bigger cycles and if you see the first in my career as starting at the beginning and finishing with before 'White Ladder', then 'White Ladder' being the start of something else, then almost everything subsequently has been post-'White Ladder'. This now feels like the start of a new era and a very rich one creatively. Sometimes, you're staring up at the creative mountain and I was just bored of myself. I got off the road, I was physically and mentally exhausted, and I knew I wanted to do something different, I just didn't know what it was. I knew all the things I didn't want, but I didn't know what it was I was looking for, so I had to perform a sort of creative traverse, I couldn't just keep ascending, I had to go across and take the mountain from a different angle. I was trying so many different things that 'not knowing' became my process; I started writing in a backwards way.
CM: What was it that was 'backwards' about your songwriting?
David: Normally, I'd write melodies and chords first and then find the lyrics to go with it. I began to write from lyrics back into music, taking other people's words as well and using them as a starting point for songs; so, a poem was responsible for 'Gull' and then a short story was responsible for the track 'The Incredible'. It was like putting on those prism glasses and everything's upside down. It takes a little while to take a few steps forward and know that you're not going to fall over, I was just using my instincts to build the songs in this way. 'Birds Of The High Arctic' was another one, 'Snow In Vegas' came out of a lyric I'd had for a long time. Once I began to realise there was real strength and also a nuance to this new approach. I went with it and then when we got to the studio to records, I found that was a further layer of challenging my ideas about how it should sound, how it could be arranged, how I went about recording it. Creatively my producer Andy Barlow played a huge part in that.
Continue reading: David Gray - Interview
Date of birth
13th June, 1968