DAVID GRAY’S 1998 album ‘White Ladder’, a whopping seven-million seller that features smash hits ‘Babylon’, ‘Sail Away’ and ‘This Year’s Love’, is Ireland’s best selling record of all time, and given changes in the music industry, is likely to remain so for some time.
Gray is still profoundly grateful for Ireland’s role in his breakthrough, in fact. “Ireland embraced me in such a big way before anyone else did,” he recalls. “It was unbelievable, really. Looking back, I still can’t quite take in what happened. It was an unforgettable time for me and I’ll always love the Irish because of it.”
Naturally, though, the Cheshire-born folk-pop singer has long been ready to move past his major commercial breakthrough on that fourth album. His eleventh studio album, ‘Gold In A Brass Age’, was released earlier this month, and offers something really quite different.
“I was never going to just keep remaking ‘White Ladder’, it’s important to experiment and stay interested,” Gray said of the new record, which is layered with some complex electronic aspects, producing an organic, delicate element. It also sees Gray explore falsetto vocals across several tracks.
In many ways, ‘Gold In A Brass Age’ is a stylistic throwback to Gray’s early, art-school days. “I want to go back to making art at some point,” he said. “I like to go out to the countryside and switch off, it’s essential to me to have that time, and it would be perfect for painting. But to paint again, I’d want to really dedicate myself to it. It’ll happen at some point, just maybe not quite yet.”