You probably haven’t heard of Jack Gray and that’s okay. He may just be one of Australia’s best kept secrets but he wont be for long. He’s currently touring Europe with Dean Lewis and Eliott where he is swooning crowds with his chill indie-pop. Back home, he’s just released his new single ‘My Hands’ and it’s already gaining a lot of hype and streaming traction. Melodically he has evolved massively from his early tracks ‘Jumper On You’ and ‘Red Rental Car’ with a polished indie-pop sound that experiments further with electronic influences. Citing sonical similarities to the likes of Troye Sivan, it’s not surprising that this song has already received a lot hype.
I recently chatted to the Sunshine Coast singer-songwriter to get to know him a little better. We talked about the storyline behind his new single, what inspired his new summer-soaked sound and his current European tour with Dean Lewis. Check out the chat HERE;
TB: ‘My Hands’ hears you heading towards a more polished indie-pop sound compared to the experimental ‘Red Rental Car’. So what was sonically inspiring you when you were working on this track?
JG: I have a big place in my heart for rock ’n’ roll because my dad grew up in the 80’s pumping Bon Jovi and Motley Crue. So of course I caught a glimpse of that era of music in my house whilst growing up. Anyways, I love the band Paramore and they released a track called ‘Hard Times’ not too long ago which I thought was sick! I guess you could say that track inspired me sonically with this new record.
TB: Lyrically and melodically ‘My Hands’ sounds like a fairly cute and reflective track. So what is the actual story behind the song?
JG: I have a good mate of mine that opened up to me about his new girlfriend and their relationship. He said something along the lines of, “I don’t think she’s the one, but there’s something about her that is keeping me in.” Basically, I conceptualised the idea of him being too keen on regular sex to leave a rather confusing and negative situation.
TB: ’My Hands’ is a bit of bop. After a first listen it was immediately stuck in my head. So what song is currently stuck in your head?
JG: ’Hollaback Girl’ by Gwen Stefani. I sing that tune EVERY day!
TB: This track was giving me some groovy Troye Sivan influences mixed in with a real sun-soaked summer sound. So is this sound where you are melodically heading towards for your future releases? Or what can we expect?
JG: I like that reference. I think Troye is an amazing artist with so much potential! I’ve been told quite often that sometimes it’s dangerous to be too diverse or to know too much because it can confuse your audience. Personally, I think that’s bullshit! A huge part of being an artist is experimentation and exploration of sounds and ideas. I mean, how are you supposed to capture different moments in time and moods with the same song? I think putting creatives in a box is one of the most dangerous things for their career. I wanna make a point that it’s not only acceptable, but encouraged to try new things and release whatever you’re excited about at the time. Long story short, don’t expect *laughs*.
TB: Reflecting on summer vibes, what is one of your favourite summer memories?
JG: Recording music with my boys at our caravan on the Gold Coast. It really doesn’t get better than that.
TB: Your storytelling is quite honest and vulnerable. So what would you say is the most vulnerable lyric/moment for you as a songwriter so far? Is it a released track or an unreleased track?
JG: Definitely from an unreleased track! “With a bullet to the brain, you escaped”. It’s pretty outrageous without context but it means a lot to me.
TB: You’re about to kick off a massive Europe tour opening for Dean Lewis. So what are you most looking forward to get up to on tour?
JG: I guess I’m most excited about exploring this world I know very little about and getting to sing songs with people I’ve never met.
TB: What country/city are you most excited to perform in?
JG: Paris. I’ve heard the fashion there is incredible.
TB: What is one feeling or emotion you want people to walk away feeling after they see you live?
TB: So, let’s play a little game where you answer these questions with the first thing that comes to mind.
TB: My morning pump up song is…
JG: ’Ifly’ by Ball Park Music.
TB: Pineapple on pizza is…
JG: A must!
TB: The emoji that best describes me is…
JG: The cheeky monkey hiding it’s eyes.
TB: If I could have any superpower it would be…
JG: To time travel
TB: My ultimate festival line-up would be…
JG: A Boogie With A Hoodie, Bon Iver, The 1975, Ball Park Music, Jack Garratt, Nothing But Thieves, Yungblood, Frank Ocean and Tyler The Creator. I could go on for days!
Jack Gray’s new single ‘My Hands’ is out now!