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Review: Jon Grayson – Stranger EP

Sunny Singh

Sunny Singh is the overarching Website Editor for InQuire. He is interested in Canterbury’s enterprise and reports on issues which affect the city’s, and country’s, people and infrastructure.

Previously working in London’s financial district, University of Kent’s Jon Grayson highlights his wonderfully viscous vocals in his new EP: Stranger.

A singer-songwriter from Medway in Kent, Jon moved to London in 2014 and spent two years developing his song-writing whilst playing in every corner of the capital. The Garage, Islington, was where Jon met producer Jack Watson leading to an 18 month journey in which the two created Grayson’s Stranger EP.

Pop gets personal in Stranger, with lyrics exploring his different relationships and peculiar sense of self-destruction:

“There​ ​is​ ​a​ ​theme​ ​linking​ ​these​ ​songs​ ​together​ ​and​ ​it’s​ ​that​ ​they​ ​explore​ ​different​ ​relationships, not​ ​just​ ​my​ ​own;​ ​whether​ ​it’s​ ​reflecting​ ​on​ ​a​ ​lifetime​ ​spent​ ​in​ ​love,​ ​or​ ​the​ ​buzz​ ​of​ ​the​ ​honeymoon phase.”

The title track, ‘Stranger’, hooks you to Grayson’s flowing vocals as the sound twists and turns around his poignant outcries. The melody moulds around his voice: the two falling in as much love as the subject and the sea. The moment the music stops, you want his voice to guide you over the water.

In ‘Crept up to the water’, you get the same intensity in the vocals supplemented with a tranquillizing melody throughout. It’s as if Grayson is drowning, but his voice hasn’t realised as it retains its beauty. The song sails us to ‘Heaven Won’t Hold Us’, which suddenly raises the beat. The track takes us deeper into Grayson’s personal life; he juggles his doubts and inhibitions whilst settling on his faith in love.

‘Novelist’ is the perfect track to finish the EP. It acts as a way to blend all the techniques in the previous songs into one refined piece exploring Grayson’s relationship with romance and, indeed, his own voice.

Grayson’s musical talents have been acknowledged and admired by BBC Radio Kent, CSR FM and Medway Messenger. He is scheduled to play at 93 Feet East on the 8th of December, and The Islington on the 10th of February.

As he rises up the local music scene, I think it’s safe to say he won’t be a stranger.

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