Melbourne singer-songwriter Gretta Ray has shared new singles ‘Cherish’ and ‘The Brink’, which together comprise the third instalment in her ongoing ‘Duologies’ release series.
As Ray explained a press release, the new tracks are “probably the most closely linked in the ‘Duologies’ story”. Both tracks were penned in the span of a week, with Ray’s amplified creativity spurred by a particularly turbulent period in her personal life.
“I went out and had this terrible night and this crap argument and I was just so tired of arguing,” she said. “I got into the studio the next day and Dylan [Nash, co-writer/producer] was like, ‘How are you?’ I put my head in my notebook and when I pulled it away from my face it had water all over the pages.”
A follow-up session with Nash brought the first draft of ‘Cherish’ to life. Ray described it as “sort of a crying-in-the-club song; an intimate internal dialogue driven by a slow-building dance undertow”.
Check out the lyric video for ‘Cherish’ below:
According to Ray, the final mix of ‘Cherish’ marked a turning point in her emotional turbulence. She continued: “At the time I was really mad. I think I just needed it for my pride. But when I went to finish it with [producer] Robby De Sa, I heard it as more sad; bittersweet.”
Writing for ‘The Brink’ began in a session with Skegss and Ruby Fields collaborator Chris Collins, at which point Ray’s personal life had spiralled further into chaos. She noted in her statement that it became “the first song where I really felt like, ‘Oh, music is holding me right now’”.
“Chris had these piano chords and we wrote the song in maybe four hours,” she said.
The press release notes that the same night following Ray and Collins’ writing session, the latter sent through a demo “that felt like emotion made sound, from back-sliding intro to a chorus that balances lost innocence with a looming fear of the unknown”.
“That sounds like how my heart feels right now,” Ray told Collins. “That sounds like my anxiety.”
Check out the lyric video for ‘The Brink’ below:
Both of the new tracks will appear on Ray’s forthcoming debut album, ‘Begin To Look Around’, which is due for release on August 27 through EMI/Universal. ‘Cherish’ and ‘The Brink’ mark the fifth and sixth singles to be shared from it, following ‘Bigger Than Me’, ‘Readymade’, ‘Human’ and ‘Passion’.
Ray also debuted ‘Cherish’ live for triple j’s Like A Version segment this morning, alongside a cover of the Gang Of Youths track ‘The Deepest Sighs, The Frankest Shadows’.
The former triple j Unearthed High winner will perform for Splendour XR – a livestreamed offshoot of Byron Bay’s beloved Splendour In The Grass festival – this weekend, opening the virtual GW McLennon stage at 2pm on Sunday (July 25).