Brooklyn based super-collaborator Grey Mcmurray has released his first solo album titled Stay Up on September 20th via figureight records. The album is described as “uniquely expressive, ranging from sweetly melodic passages, to huge open plains of chord-washes and chorus, to dense, acute dissonance & psych, all composed and performed by a master of his instrument.” It’s an expressive and unique album mixed with melodic as well as not so traditional use of vocals. The vocals add another dimension to the already atmospheric instrumental. An interesting and great listen.

We decided to ask Grey what three albums have influenced him and his music. These are his picks.

Check out the debut album here:

Stevie Wonder – Fulfillingness’ First Finale

I remember standing close to the small tv in the kitchen watching reruns of taxi quietly because I wasn’t supposed to be awake. Later in life I replaced these reruns with actual people I could talk to, but before there were people, there was taxi.  One episode ends with Christopher Lloyd’s character walking around his empty living room, missing someone now gone. I can’t remember if it was death or leaving, but as he walked around the room lost in memory, he turned on the radio and ‘You are the Sunshine of My Life’ came on.  I’d heard it somewhere in my early life’s ether, but hearing it in my dark kitchen shook me.  I have spent a large amount of my time since listening to Stevie Wonder.  I end up listening to this record the most.  

Olivier Messiaen – Garden of Love’s Sleep

Greatest hits records rarely feel like album statements, but this is one is full majesty. Each of these songs/pieces is a part of a larger work, but this collection focuses on Messiaen’s anxiously serene song like language. His deeply identifiable harmonic vocabulary helps me believe romance is real in life. That poetry is inside mundanity. Mr Magoo walking slow over a bridge and souls jumping from body to body across the universe.   And just such good chords. 

Meshell Ndegeocello – Weather 

Meshell Ndegeocello is a bright bright light.  Rare light.  Her records feel like dispatches from someone who knows a lot more than me. Someone whose music contains more than music.   Like humanness.  Also universeness. The songs ‘Oysters’ and ‘Feeling For the Wall’ do for me what I strive for my music to do: respite from what isolates, basking in beautiful sad possible togetherness.    

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