After the exclusive track premiere for ‘Passed Me By‘ in August and our ‘notorious’ 9+1 Q&A with BYLAND, we have the pleasure to premiere the debut album by the cinematic folk outfit, and brainchild of Alie Renee, ‘GRAY‘ in its entirety, ahead of the release, October 2nd.
The feeling of escape/departure is pervasive throughout the album while the ethereal melancholy; Lyrical-wise ‘mental health a priority is a focal point of GRAY, with topics like anxiety, codependency, and fear of inadequacy at the forefront.’ We could say that the fragile beauty of ‘GRAY‘ is reflected on an imaginary painting by founder of French Impressionist painting Claude Monet. See, or better, listen for yourselves…
Albuquerque, New Mexico-based, BYLAND, the cinematic folk/indie-rock project of Alie Renee Byland, announces her first studio record, GRAY, out on October 2nd, 2020. Previously featured on outlets like American Songwriter, PopMatters, KUPR, Woodinville Weekly, Mystic Sons, Albuquerque Journal, among others, BYLAND is ready to go national with GRAY.
Departing from the reflective and sentimental nature of BYLAND’s earlier work, GRAY turns the focus inward with a vulnerable and unidealized approach. The album is driven by cinematic soundscapes, accompanied by timeless arrangements and distinct composition. The record has the masterful touches of producer and multi-instrumentalist Nathan Yaccino, along with additional mixing by Andy Park, and the careful mastering of Ed Brooks. Notable contributors alongside Alie include a lineup of powerful females – Jessica Dobson, Meagan Grandall, and Abby Gunderson. But, the focal points of GRAY are the lush, stirring vocals and the depth of emotion that the lyrics convey.
Making mental health a priority is a focal point of GRAY, with topics like anxiety, codependency, and fear of inadequacy at the forefront. The album makes honest and intimate statements like, “My wall of smiling is making a hole in me” and “Are you okay? It’s alright if you’re not”. It lets you in on self-satirical, internal conversations like “As long as you are okay, maybe I don’t have to be” or “If you believe in me, maybe I don’t have to”. GRAY highlights the notion that acknowledging what we feel is extremely empowering and creates in us an awareness of the space our feelings occupy – space that belongs to us.
Throughout these songs, the central songwriter recounts that she often avoids things that aren’t black or white, because it’s easier to compartmentalize experiences than feel two things at once. While writing this record, she sat with her feelings and tried to write songs that were raw, often about what she was going through right then. By being honest with her feelings and giving a voice to her often unquestioned thoughts, she hopes others might be inspired to do the same, because although it’s difficult, it’s important to process.
Stay tuned for more announcements throughout 2020 from BYLAND and stream Gray on October 2!
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