Exploring womanhood, romance and heartbreak, the singer talks us through her second duology and her growth over the years.
With her debut album on the horizon, Melbourne singer-songwriter Gretta Ray is giving us a teaser with her latest Duology package, “Human” and “Passion”. Diving in deep on her emotions, the singer explores intimacy at its most romantic level. Expanding her catalogue of lush cinematic pop, the two singles perfectly capture those raw and untamed emotions, using sensuous lyrics and soaring productions. Starting off slow and mellow with “Human”, Ray rides a smooth sailing drum-led production, echoing over the atmospheric bridge. Leading into “Passion” with a more deep drum-focused bass line, Ray keeps the same sultry sound, but with more menacing piano chords and a focused tone.
“‘Human’ and ‘Passion’ are both very much songs about an intimate relationship,” the 22-year old says. “It’s been so interesting to write about this concept, one that I’ve unpacked in every possible way since I was much younger, and to feel as though my feelings surrounding it have grown up with me over the past few years.”
Accompanying the second Duology with an artistic video for “Human”, the singer-songwriter expertly incorporates elements of nature into her video, working with director Ben Develin to create a beautiful visual that amplifies the elegant single. Set to continue the theme of romance and heartbreak throughout the album, we sat down virtually with Ray to discuss what we can expect and how a third Duology is already on the way.
Check out the video and single below…
Hey Gretta! We are almost halfway through the year, how have you found this year so far?
That’s so crazy to think. I’ve found this year to be pretty busy so far, if anything. It’s felt very hectic getting back into the swing of things, but in a good way for sure. I feel very fortunate to be in a part of the world where I can do lots of face to face work again.
Do you think this past year has affected your creativity in any way?
Yeah absolutely! And I’m privileged to be able to say that for the most part, I’ve found the past year to be quite good for my creative self. While in lockdown, I spent a long of time reading, creative writing, and doing creative activities outside of my job as an artist, which I think was really helpful for me. I also learned how to record and comp my own vocals from home, so I could keep working on recording music.
What is your earliest memory of music?
I listened to a lot of music growing up, so my earliest memories of music would be listening to Joni Mitchell or James Taylor, probably. That, or The Wizard Of Oz soundtrack.
You grew up in Melbourne, do you think living here impacted your sound?
Oh hugely. A lot of our family friends are local artists, so I was around Melbourne musicians from a very young age, whether they were performing or not! Everyone that I collaborated with in Melbourne when I was younger helped to shape and influence my approach to songwriting in a massive way.
And you’ve just announced your debut album, talk us through your mindset going into the project?
This record is a documentation and a celebration of the lessons I have learned about love, life and my unremitting passion for music as I’ve stepped into my early twenties. It’s definitely a coming of age record, and going into the project was an entirely different experience to coming out of it! When I started writing the album, I didn’t really have a sense of what I wanted my music to sound like, or of I was outside of romantic relationships… I feel like I found my independence writing these songs, and felt very nurtured by the process of pouring all of the lessons I was learning into the music I was making.
It is set to touch upon womanhood, romance and heartbreak – why these topics in particular?
I think these are very prominent themes for any 23-year-old woman to write about! A lot of the album is about the breakdown of a romantic relationship. But it’s also largely about how I rebuilt my sense of self after enduring that experience. It was a very formative few years of my personal life, while I was writing the album.
Creating it in lockdown, did you face any difficulties?
We actually finished writing it way before lockdown, and had almost finished recording it too! There were 5 songs left to finish, but they shut the borders between Melbourne and Sydney, where I was recording it. So, I did have to wait a year until I could resume work with my producer which was super frustrating at times, but we got there in the end!
And “Human” and “Passion” – which are set to be a part of the project – are both very intimate and emotional, what was it like to tap into this concept?
I’ve tapped into this concept before, but I was a bit younger. So this time, I definitely felt like I could take more risks because I was older, I had more experience in the kinds of relationships I was singing about, and my writing was maturing with me. It was definitely hugely rewarding.
It falls under your Duology Two project – can we expect a third? With your album set for release this August, what else are you excited for?
You can expect a third yes! I am excited about so many things, but mainly playing shows again and sharing this new music with my audience. I can’t wait to see what these songs do. I really hope people like them!