Saturday, March 20, 2021

Indie Music: Delyn Grey "Ghost Town"

by Germar Derron

"Ghost Town" starts with a common faux-hall "verbed" haunting piano. And then, there's the strum of an acoustic . . . . I thought, "been there, done that, tossed the T-shirt--another indie artist." But then Grey's vocals cut in. At that point, I didn't care about anything I'd heard before.

Her voice isn't unique. It's the sound of the millennium, e.g., Adele and Amy. I think that's a good thing. Beyond that lovely and relatable voice, this is a professional performance. And beyond the performance, this is A+ vocal recording, production, and treatment. Initially, that tone, timbre, and note manipulation seemed too good for the rest of the track. 

Her voice is piercing, but not at all grating. It's a fun poke, like on old-school Facebook. It gets your attention. The vocals clearly carry DAW effects, but nothing nearing artifice. But like so many independent productions, those beautiful vocals ride on top of--and completely mask--a mediocre and paint-by-numbers instrumental . . . if you're impatient. By nature, I'm not patient.

On "Ghost Town," my patience was rewarded. The simple and disconnected opening, and that seemingly generic track was not an example of bad production, engineering, or arranging; it was part of a somewhat risky plan. That risk paid off. 

The song builds until all of the pieces fit snugly together. It's very much a musical puzzle. Once you start to hear the picture, about halfway through the track, you better understand that early edge-finding. Maybe it's more like watching a painter paint, than it is like completing a puzzle yourself. Either way, I loved the final product.

Delyn Grey's credits on "Ghost Town" include: vocals, keyboard, production, and percussion. So she's the painter, but she's also the painting. I'm a fan. 

Here's a bonus track, because she's a real person and she's this good:  


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