- Tom H
Brady Grey | No One Knows (debut EP)
Some of the most meaningful and affective music and art is born out of the honest, real-life events and challenges that musicians and artists often face in their day-to-day lives. When we experience the art or music that results from such real-life situations, we subconsciously embrace the underlying emotion and energy that inspired and crafted what we are taking in.
Indie/folk singer and songwriter Brady Grey's stunning debut EP, No One Knows, elegantly and candidly embodies the concept of recounting honest, personal life narratives from a songwriting perspective. No One Knows is Brady's first released solo work outside his tenure as guitarist and co-songwriter with Minneapolis-based alt/indie trio Step Rockets.
"Songwriting, for me, always starts as a raw expression and soon the songs take on a narrative of their own," Brady explains to SoundThread. "While I was on tour with Step Rockets, my wife was diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS). I started to write about our experiences navigating the changes; about the countless appointments, specialists, multiple diagnoses and about balancing my role as both caregiver and husband. I wrote about our life, which is a perspective I haven't heard in many other songs."
Stepping outside the collaborative working relationship of Step Rockets, Brady comments on the creative process surrounding his solo release: "I wrote all of the parts and played all the instruments, with the exception of Johnny Syn on drums and Natalie Warren on sax. Releasing my musical story to the world was a bit nerve-racking because this is me in all aspects - melodies, lyrics, voice and that feels vulnerable."
The three tracks that comprise No One Knows are crisp, enticing, and candid with an expressive lyrical depth and maturity one doesn't often encounter on a debut release. This solid EP is a great listen from start to finish.
Opening track "I'm Not There Yet" leads off with some beautiful, acoustic fingerstyle, before transitioning to a percussive, explosive and catchy chorus. Brady's full-on, emotive vocals are the perfect accompaniment to the attention-grabbing soundscape this standout track generates. Brady elaborates on the song's message: "Sometimes when you look honestly at yourself, you find you're not quite where you want to be…yet. As I reflected on changes in life, I found great power in the word 'yet' - I can be honest with where I'm at, while allowing myself room to grow."
"Magic Bullets" is about searching for the elusive, cure-all 'magic bullet,' and touches on the reality that there's not always a remedy to every problem. "I blew out my right eardrum in a scuba diving accident, in a lake in Arizona of all places. I had significant hearing loss and the first doctor I saw thought I may have done permanent damage to my hearing," Brady relates. "That is where the song started, when I got just a small taste of what people with traumatic or chronic health problems have to go through. The idea of just taking or doing one easy thing and having that be the cure-all is rare and in many cases impossible. Some things aren't able to be cured, sometimes people don't get better, but in all cases all you crave is that magic bullet."
The closing and title track, "No One Knows," is a down-tempo, contemplative track that reflects upon the deeply personal and poignant experience of human loss. Brady explains, "Author Larkin Warren said that losing the first person close to you is like 'punching your soul’s passport.' It doesn't mean that others won't mean a lot and be equally devastating, but the first one takes its due toll." Reflecting on his own life experiences, Brady expresses, "After a long eighteen month battle with cancer, my wife lost her father, who we were both very close to. His cancer and her EDS had taken so much, yet she had the strength to give me grace and love while we were both in mourning. 'No One Knows' is about discovering a deep and sacred connection with someone who shows their true self during the hardest of times."
While only three new songs have seen the light of day with No One Knows, Brady reports there are more singles and another EP coming out later this year. And if you're in the Minneapolis area, be sure to catch a few upcoming Brady Grey live performances. Check out Brady's official website for more information, follow him on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube) and find his music on Spotify, SoundCloud, and Apple Music.
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