After adding a lot of value and doing his best to make others look as good as possible, it’s Ezra Grey’s time to shine. Today, we get a piece of what he’s been working on recently, with the debut of his “Yael” music video. It’s the first morsel of new material for Grey, as he gears up to release his debut solo EP, Afterall.
The video for “Yael” has a homely feel to it, featuring Grey and his backing band performing the song from inside a traditional country house. It fits well with the lighthearted, feel-good tone of the song, and while it’s not a country song, it features that same sort of wholesome feeling. “Yael” will of course be featured on Afterall upon its release scheduled for February 16th in the new year.
Commenting on the song, Grey states:
“I wrote ‘Yael’ after doing a deep dive of listening to The Beatles nonstop for a month. While the song itself doesn’t sound Beatles-esque, I was inspired to write something that uses a simple chord progression with well-articulated arpeggios in the acoustic guitar parts. Then for the bridge, I took inspiration from latter-era Led Zeppelin for having a more complex chord progression with modulations to set the bedrock for the guitar solo.
“The inspiration for the lyrics came after a one-time encounter with a girl I met at an event and felt a strong connection with, but ended up never running into her again. In the song, she is a bit fictionalized to have been a more substantial relationship than a one-time encounter, and so the character of ‘Yael’ in the song ended up becoming an amalgamation of three different women from my past.”
Commenting on the video clip, he adds:
“For the video, we wanted a rustic location and were really happy to find one that had great indoor and outdoor settings. We also wanted to have an actress portray ‘Yael’ and connected with Gossip Girl actress Alexandra Chelaru, who did an excellent job of capturing the understated-yet-captivating persona of the fictional Yael.”
It’s an important moment in Grey’s songwriting career, because it’s his opportunity to take center stage. The Brooklyn singer-songwriter has been more of a contributor for other artists in the past, composing, recording, and touring with other artists since the age of 15. No matter the genre, Grey can skillfully fit in, with his past work contributing not just in rock bands but R&B, hip-hop, heavy metal, classical, and jazz. Also an academic, Grey earned a degree in music and philosophy from Columbia University.
Afterall is noteworthy, particularly for how it shows how Grey has evolved as a songwriter. The EP will feature songs written by Grey, not just recently, but dating back to when he first started to write songs around age 15. So you can even hear that evolution within the songs and how they differ.
Guitar-driven, Afterall is very much influenced by his touring experiences with metal bands such as GAREK, Sinaro, and Etherius. It’s obviously not a heavy metal album, but it’s interesting the way Grey incorporates those experiences and influences. His guitar arrangements are precise and technically impressive, reminiscent of a metal guitarist. Everyone should get their time to shine, especially if they’ve earned it, which Grey most definitely has with his years of experience and solid work, finding his way to his moment in the sun.
Afterall Track Listing:
5. Into the Sun
6. Whisper in the Dark