Alice Gray, the pop songstress we need

For lovers of Maggie Rogers, Robinson, King Princess, FLETCHER & Sasha Sloan

Alice Gray, an indie-pop songstress based in LA, released her first EP today called "Paradise?" The five tracks show how Gray has mastered the understated elegance of writing romantic pop songs. Her nostalgic yet contemporary sound was made for vinyl.

Born and raised in California, Gray never fully embraced her musical ability and instead expressed her artistic talent in a more introverted way by going to school for design. Now, she's taking a reign back on her other talent. "Paradise?" consists of "Paradise," which has a chorus filled with funky synths, "Take Me To The Water," an internal battle embellished by Gray's soft vocals and hypnotic beat; "Hell with You" shows her vivacious side and has ridiculously catchy lyrics, "Stolen Gold" could be a stand alone, written as a story and an ode to a Bonnie Clyde type of love. Ending with "Indigo," a sensual, vulnerable profession.

Gray's natural ability to mold intricate sounds to produce pacific arrangements to transport you into a headspace is her specialty.

"You know I like a song when I go silent and stare wide-eyed out the window. I hope the EP transports my listeners in that kind of way."

Listening to her music can best be summed up as the cliche, "a breath of fresh air." She shows what pop music can be in 2019. It doesn't need to be overproduced, and it doesn't need to sound like the rest of the DIY indie-pop scene right now. Alice Gray is the pop songstress we need.

Photos by Jackie Teeple

When you're writing and making music, do you walk into a session knowing what you want it to sound like?

Sometimes yes, sometimes no. I prefer to come into a session with an idea or two already in mind, but I don’t always make that happen. In that case, I’ll just walk in and start chatting with whoever I’m working with that day and after a little conversation we can find some common ground and inspiration.

What do you think makes your music unique? How do you stay true to yourself?

Now, anyone can make music, GOOD music too, so it’s hard to be unique and stand out when the market is so saturated with talented people. I used to be obsessed with finding new music and new artists, but I’ve had to kind of put my head down and focus on myself and what I’m trying to say and stop trying to be anyone else. Chasing the trends is a dangerous game.

What song were you the most excited for everyone to hear?

"Stolen Gold." I’m interested to see the reception. It’s a little different and wacky. The way Peter Fenn and I wrote it was different too. He’d made the beat prior to our session, and I pretty much claimed it for myself 5 seconds into hearing it. We started by talking about what kind of imagery it inspired: A Wes Anderson type film, maybe a Bonnie and Clyde theme where the lovers turn on one another. I’ve never written a song like that before. Maybe I’ll write about an alien invasion next.

What do you hope people walk away with after listening to your debut EP?

I’m a daydreaming kinda listener. That’s how I’ve always consumed music. You know I like a song when I go silent and stare wide-eyed out the window. I hope the EP transports my listeners in that kind of way. The title of the EP is "Paradise?" with a “?” and the theme that carries throughout is an acceptance of the imperfect - or, at least, a self-awareness. I like connecting with people over common obstacles. I’m less interested in how GREAT everything is going hahaha. I want to hear about the obstacles you’re trying to overcome, the things you want to change and the things you love about yourself that are usually subject to judgement and shame.