Unearthed High champ Gretta Ray is back with 'Unwind' - a stunning new song she recorded here at triple j.
You've just released your new single 'Unwind'. Tell us a little about the genesis of that song and what it was like to be writing/recording again after the success of ‘Drive'?
Writing Unwind after the success of Drive was a fascinating challenge for me as a songwriter, due to the fact that Drive was one of those songs where all the elements kind of fell into place right from the beginning of the writing process; the piece came together in a rather organic way. For me, that rarely happens when writing music, and I had to consistently remind myself of that when writing Unwind, as it did not unfold as naturally as Drive did. That being said, once I had the bones of Unwind, I became excited about how different it sounded from anything that I’d ever written before, and once I arrived in Sydney to record it, I was so pleased that I had pushed myself to have a brand new song finished in time for that particular project. Concept-wise, the lyrics of Unwind intend to portray one’s thought process when going through a break up. More specifically, the moment when one comes to understand the extent of what they have lost, when they start to feel the weight of what the relationship became. I feel as though the lyric that best conveys that is “I am sure that there is more to this than I care to admit”. Hopefully this rings true with some listeners. This is a song for those that “feel it all”.
You recorded it at the triple j studios in Sydney. What was that recording process like compared to how you usually lay your tracks down?
The recording process at triple J was such an incredible opportunity; I got to work with some very special musicians and am so grateful for all of their time. The main difference between recording in Sydney and how I usually record was definitely the time constraints. We completed the production for this new song in the space of a day and half, which was a huge achievement for the whole team, considering that my usual producers and I spent a good few weeks on Drive. But despite it being a speedy process, it was as equally as fun and satisfying when we completed our work.
What's your greatest source of inspiration for making music?
I spend a lot of time examining the way that I and others move through the world. I am constantly observing human interactions and human behaviour on the whole, and find that most of my ideas are born when I am taking note of one’s body language or the way that they are conversing with another. For example, there is a lyric in Drive that talks about someone having the ability to make one’s “tired eyes widen and cheeks turn rouge”. I like to focus on minuscule details such as these, details that have the potential to mean so much if they are explored in depth. So overall, I would say that choosing to watch and listen to those in around me has always been what has inspired me to write.
What's your go-to snack when making music?
If I’m writing? Hmmm.. okay, this isn’t interesting or original at all, but vegemite toast is definitely my go to. I consume so much bread on a day to day basic, it’s out of control. When I’m recording and making music in a studio environment however, I am hungry the entire time, so props to triple j for bringing me pastries and pizza when I was working in Sydney. Saved my life.
What's your vision for the ultimate Gretta Ray live show?
Oh man, I’m not sure. I sure do think about it a lot, but I am yet to put a band together, as I have always played my shows acoustically; just me and my guitar.
Although, touring as a part of Japanese Wallpaper’s band was an eye opening experience in regards to what it takes to put on a good live show. I loved watching our support act, E^ST perform each night. She radiates so much energy on stage and is jumping and dancing almost the entire time, keeping the audience in the palm of her hand. I found that incredibly inspiring, so when it came to singing lead in Japanese Wallpaper’s set, I attempted to channel a similar energy. When school ends and I can start thinking about putting together a show of my own, I’d definitely like there to be moments where I can put the guitar down and move around on stage.
What's the best advice you've been given and who was it from?
I am very lucky in the sense that I seem to have wise, supportive people around me all the time, so I am constantly being offered amazing advice. My family has always taught me to be thankful for everything that comes my way and to be considerate of others. Although that’s very broad, I would say that’s the best advice that anyone can be given.
What Australian track would you play to cheer up someone who was crying?
What Australian track would you play to someone to make them cry?
OR Stranger In My Room by Kat Edwards
. Hauntingly exquisite.
You're the DJ at a party. The dance floor is pumping. What Australian track do you put on next?
Get Down by Jess Kent
. Banger and a half. I will never get over how good that song is.
What are your plans for the rest of 2016 and into 2017?
I am going to finish High School! HOORAY! Then straight after that, I’m flying to Nashville for 2 weeks alongside my mum to hang out with my producer, meet people, eat a lot of food and start work on what I hope to be a full length record. 2017 will consist of playing shows, writing a lot of songs and hopefully travelling back to the states if I can earn the money to do so.