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[new sampshire] Old Gray drops tears, not bombs (and a new album too)


OLD GRAY
hail from central New Hampshire, and the Internet. In just over a year, the trio have amassed an international following of rabid, Tumblr-addicted emo kids, and are known for their heart-wrenching riffs and tear-jerking lyrics, quickly becoming the most hyped band the state of granite has seen in a long time.

Heavier than La Dispute, more desperate than American Football, Everything I Let Go & Everything I Refuse To will give you the good cry you’ve been craving for the past year. Maybe you thought their last few albums were sloppy and poorly recorded, and those kids can’t sing for shit or whatever. Throw everything you knew (or didn’t) about this band out the window and listen to the newest, loudest, and heaviest incarnation of Old Gray

“It was time we put out a record that sounded good,” says vocalist Cameron Boucher. “Not just musically good, but sonically good, it’s way more listenable. It’s also a lot easier to play live and it’s a lot more fun.”

Starting off with their soon-to-be-classic spoken word introduction, “359 Pine” sends the listener slowly into what will in just 12 minutes become a pit of wallowing despair. Boucher said that writing and performing songs on the new album have given him an emotional outlet to express his innermost thoughts and feelings. The lyrics, contributed by all members of the band, are all incredibly personal, which is likely what makes listening and watching a performance such an intimate ordeal.



“I don’t really write about experiences that are beyond me, I just like to write exactly how I’m feeling,” Boucher adds. “So often times, I feel like people know more about me than I know about me, and that’s weird to think about.”

The next two songs, “Resonance” and “Winter ‘11” deal with self-affirmation and loneliness, almost reaching a point of moving forward from depression and anxiety. The height of Old Gray's hopefulness comes out in “Winter ‘11” with the closing lines:

Today I am what I never was: I am truly alone
Tomorrow I will be where I wish I were today
I won’t be afraid any more


And what social network complains more about being lonely than any other? That’s right, it’s Tumblr! Move over LiveJournal. Tumblr has become a popular place for bands to post their music and news, but also allows them to get super personal with their fans by direct communication. Old Gray has utilized the social network in a way that invites fans into a circle beyond the intimacy of their recordings and shows. They’re like your Internet friend that you swap inside jokes with and hope they send you n00dz (it’s a Tumblr thing…). With the onslaught on emo fandom chasing at the heels of Old Gray, Boucher has found it hard to find his place to vent privately on the Internet.

“I used to have a livejournal and blogspot and stuff - no one cared," says Boucher. "I could write however I felt and it was like a diary for a 14-year-old emo kid, and I kind of want to use Tumblr to that effect, but if I write something, like, ‘oh man, sad,’ now people care.”

Though Boucher no longer has the comfort of a blog that no one cares about, it hasn’t affected his ability to open up through his music and online journals. The closing track, “Six Years” is easily the most emotional, kicking off with a particularly poignant sample from the pilot episode of Freaks and Geeks, and rapidly exploding into their loudest song to date.

New Hampshire is a state whose artists rarely gather a national or international following before moving somewhere more populated. Old Gray’s Internet hype is nothing short of phenomenal. Hopefully they’ll continue to rep the #livefreeordie lyfe before the allure of actual music venues and a music community leads them to Boston or elsewhere.

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