Stratford-Upon-Avon quintet my grey horse are combining beautiful, layered harmonies and contagious melodies in their latest release, Big Night. Currently putting the finishing touches on their forthcoming debut LP (set for release in early 2014), A Music Blog, Yea? caught up with my grey horse to talk about the story behind their name, harmonies, Big Night, and what to expect from the new album.
AMBY: Hello my grey horse, cheers for speaking with AMBY today! Please introduce yourselves to our readers.
MGH: Hi, we’re My Grey Horse, from Stratford-upon-Avon.
AMBY: What’s the band been up to lately?
Pete: We’ve been away recording for the best part of this year. Firstly demoing, then whittling 40 odd tracks down to 20. Then we went away again and recorded an Album and an EP featuring new and old songs.
Oobah: Recently we’ve been playing more shows, which we haven’t really done a lot this year so that’s been good.
AMBY: Where did the name my grey horse come from? And what other names had you considered for the band?
John: We got our name from a song by Yat Kha, called Oy Adym, which translates as my grey horse. I don’t think we considered anything else.
AMBY: Your latest release Big Night is a killer track. What’s the story behind the song?
Pete: It’s about the point of realisation in a doomed relationship. When you realise how shit your relationship is, but it’s positive, because you know what’s wrong with it now.
AMBY: What inspired the concept for the Big Night music video?
Pete: We’ve done our own videos up until now, and we wanted something completely different, so we handed the track over to our friend in Berlin called Aaron Kelly. He’s a video artist more than anything, so I thought he’d do something completely different to what I usually would. I knew it would be good, and it was.
AMBY: Your EP Stop Before The Dry River was released earlier this year. What are your thoughts on the EP now that there’s been time to reflect on it?
Oobah: I’m still proud of it.
Pete: It’s the first EP that sounds how we hear ourselves.
John: I’m happy with the sound of it, and the themes are consistent throughout also.
Pete: It’s weird because I was in a completely different headspace when we were writing those songs to where I am now, but they fit the mood of what everyone was feeling at the time I think.
AMBY: The band’s debut album comes out in 2014. What will it be titled?
Pete: We don’t know yet. We’ll tell you when we’ve heard it.
AMBY: Looking forward to the upcoming release of the LP; how would you describe the feel of the album?
Pete: It’s the culmination of 3 years or more songwriting, but it doesn’t feel like that because the songs we’ve picked seem to fit together more so than even the last stint of songwriting. The songs work together well, and we’ve recorded them in an honest way like we always do.
Oobah: Yeah, the feel of the album is quite warm compared to our other stuff.
Pete: I’d say, compared to Stop Before the Dry River, this is more optimistic.
AMBY: How did harmonies become such an important part of your sound?
John: That was the first thing in place before anything, because the original set-up was just Pete and I, before Tom joined shortly after. It was just acoustic guitars and vocals, so that had to be a feature.
Pete: It’s always been a feature of my songwriting, and I think it’s drifted into John and Oobah’s, and for any other member of the band now. It’s almost the second thing you think of when you write a vocal line, to the point where it’s more like writing a ‘vocal piece’ I guess.
John: Our musical tastes are quite similar in that we like 60’s bands like The Beatles or The Zombies, which is where that influence comes from.
Oobah: As decoration, it sounds much more interesting in our songs than to have something doing the same melodically, it just sounds nice and fits.
AMBY: What’s the best release of the year?
Oobah: I would say it’s between Moonface, Local Natives…
John: When did Dagger Beach by John Vanderslice come out?
Oobah: This year, that was a brilliant record. There’s been so many brilliant albums this year, The Next Day by Bowie is another. It’s too hard.
Joe: The first that came to mind for me was Local Natives.
Pete: Yeah, that one’s hot.
AMBY: And lastly, what’s something about my grey horse that nobody knows yet?
Oobah: We all got ‘surf’s up’ signs from Jim James when he was on stage at Hop Farm festival last summer.
Thank you my grey horse, for giving us your answers!
Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout