Singer and Bassist David Brown, along with bandmates Blake Wimberly (drums) and David Swatzell (guitars/vocals), felt fueled by their status in a blue city in a red state, in the American south with its morally complex past, in a modernity fueled by conflict and difference. Though they only planned on recording a pair of songs, they came away with a full album, but one separated into two clear halves: Stream of Youth holds the record’s hopeful tracks, while Blank World comprises the fatalistic songs.
But even with that clear dividing line, WRAY’s heady musicianship and clever songwriting render their takes on optimism and darkness far more nuanced than that may seem. That multifaceted approach has brought the trio praise in outlets ranging from The New York Times to The Wall Street Journal dating back to their 2014 self-titled debut.
Through sonic exploration, WRAY builds a neo-noir epic of concentric circles, layers of vintage synth building and burning the fringes.