Saturday, July 16, 2016
Kim Gray Perfume Interview & Show # 612
Perhaps best known for playing with Vancouver garage band Skinny Kids, Trevor “Kim” Gray released his first EP as Kim Gray in 2014. His first release Backseat Bingo, was an EP dripping with 60s girl group and Beach Boys harmonies. Produced by Dead Ghosts Drew Wilkinson, Backseat Bingo featured catchy pop songs with a laid back vibe. Switching focus, Grey recorded his debut full-length release Perfume with Malcolm Biddle (Dada Plan), who apparently records albums in his shed out in Vancouver. The result is a catchy combination of songs swirling with new sunbaked harmonies.
The album’s opening track “Perfume Ghost” starts off the album with drowsy synthesizers, staccato guitar chords and a drum machine in place of real drums. The song with its catchy melodies and vicious guitar solo leaves the listener with an eerie sense of déjà vu. Perfume is blanketed with thick melodies that differ from Backseat Bingo. Instead of 60s girl group and Beach Boys inspired dynamics the songs are covered with drum machines and synthesizers that float in-between pop melodies. “Yesterday’s Smoke” drifts with surf guitar sounds, smoggy melodies and heavy synthesizers, while “Tropical Low Life” is driven primarily by the back and forth bassline that sounds as if could be from an old soul record. With lyrics such as “Hand’s in the sand/But my head’s out of line” Gray paints the picture of someone who may seem to be standing still and ignoring the situations going on around them, but the character in this song is actually very aware of what is happening around them. This message floats in-between the song’s breezy atmosphere and during several points in different forms on this album.
“I Saw It All” features distant harmonies, harmonica and fluid guitar lines, “Little Saigon” slows down the laid back grooves that are present on Perfume, on “When Tomorrow’s Today” the pace picks up sounding like a 60s garage track with a drum machine. The song’s lyrics contrast with the tempo as it tells of hair dye, uncertainty and drying out emotional wounds in the sun. “Pick My Brain” ends Perfume, with another deep bass groove, a haunting melody, but no synthesizer. With Backseat Bingo, Kim Gray brought forth catchy pop songs that differed from the Skinny Kids format. The songs on Perfume contain the same garage mentality and essence that runs through the music that Gray creates. At just eight songs and clocking in around 25 minutes, Perfume fills the air with a certain feeling. Described by some as psychedelic electronic pop, Perfume is the product of the Kim Gray extracting the right influences and mixing them with drum machines, synthesizers and songwriting skills for an effective combination of songs.
Perfume is currently available on cassette via Lolipop Records and will be available on vinyl via Resurrection Records soon.
Check out the interview that I did with Trevor Gray here:
Saturday Night Playlist:
1. The Space Merchants - One Cut Like The Moon
2. The Ketamines - You Can’t Serve Two Masters
3. The Howlies - Dirty Woman
4. The Velvet Underground - Some Kinda Love
5. The Scenics - Waiting For My Man
6. Beck - Run Run Run
7. Skinny Kids - Psychic Down The Road
8. Kim Gray - Perfume Ghost
Kim Gray Interview
9. Kim Gray - Tropical Low Life
10. Joy Division - Digital
11. The Outcasts - Programme Love
12. Buzzcocks - Whatever Happened To ...?
13. Eric Welton - Kill Them With Kindness
14. Tom Waits - On A Foggy Night
15. Papa Ghostface - Winter Porch
16. Monomyth - Feeling
17. Radiohead - Climbing Up The Walls
18. Neil Young - See The Sky About To Rain
19. Demolition Doll Rods - Come Out Of The Rain
20. Paul Jacobs - Human Emotion
21. Beastie Boys - Heart Attack Man
22. Country Mike - Sloppy Drunks
23. Bob Dylan - I Dreamed of St Augustine
To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for July 16.