Toronto quartet Greys were last heard from in 2016 when they released their second album, Outer Heaven. An album Pitchfork described as "a most welcome reminder of indie rock's iconoclastic potential," it was a multi-faceted release that jumped off in surprising new directions from the sound that had inspired regular comparisons to the Touch & Go catalog around the band's earlier releases. It marked Greys out as a different beast than many of their contemporaries in the prodigious Toronto scene that birthed them - restlessly experimental and difficult to pin down, endlessly inventive, politically aware and cerebral, confrontational but thoughtful, with a penchant for clear-eyed self-examination - Outer Heaven made plain that Greys are a group with ambitions distinct from your average punk band, who delight in confounding expectations.
Today, Greys are announcing their third LP, Age Hasn't Spoiled You, (due out via Carpark May 10th), an album on which the rate of the band's evolution appears to be speeding up rather than slowing down. This is immediately evident on the album's first single "These Things Happen". At turns buzzy and blown out, then sweetly melodic, Greys frontman, Shehzaad Jiwani, sites influences as varied as The Chemical Brothers, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, The Beastie Boys, and Madonna's late '90s hit "Beautiful Stranger," on a track that warps and distorts Greys off the floor performances with a collection of experimental studio techniques. Opening with an effect-laden guitar loop and ending with a sample from a PBS documentary about the Black Panthers, the single presents a wide array of sonic textures as Jiwani's lyrics explore his admiration for the political movements of the 1960s and his frustration with the way communication between fundamentally like-minded people is clouded and polarized within his internet-adapted generation, as Jiwani explains:
"This song is about perspective and understanding during chaotic times," says Jiwani. "I wanted to superimpose the socially and spiritually conscious energy of the late 60s onto our current political climate and the pervasive numbness people can feel towards opposing viewpoints when they are exhausted by their news feeds. There's so much information that you stop hearing what people might be saying. I was watching and reading lots of material about the Black Panthers, the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War protests and how that dovetailed with the rise of psychedelic drugs at the time, and how these two things could lead towards some common ground between politically polarized entities by simply trying to hear both sides out. You can feel incensed to rebel against something while also yearning for a deeper understanding of your neighbours at the same time."
Greys' Age Hasn't Spoiled You will be released on Carpark on May 10th.
- Arc Light
- Constant Pose
- These Things Happen
- Kill Appeal
- Western Guilt
- Burning Chrome
- Shelley Duval In 3 Women
- Static Beach