January 27, 2017 Greywind – Afterthoughts (Album Review)
A first impression is almost always crucial in any walk of life. This goes for music as well, and chances when discovering a new band, people are going to immediately devise an opinion.
That put into play, when thinking back on one’s favorite band, upon the first listen, did the jaw hit the floor, the hairs on the back of the neck stood up, and ears were opened wide? The mark of music’s power, perhaps Ireland’s Rock band Greywind will soon have that effect on more than a few people. A very strong possibility, this young sibling led band consisting of Steph and Paul O’Sullivan are oozing with talent.
Having a burning desire to pursue music for some time, in a recent interview with CrypticRock Steph recalls, “When our uncle committed suicide in 2010, it made us realize that you only live once… that is when we fully believed and we really tried to find people for a band. It took four years…”
Truly a testament to the type of dreamers and believers the O’Sullivans are, even more impressive is that Greywind picked up momentum so quickly. Taking the first steps toward fulfilling their dreams, they began recording raw editions of their songs on their phones’ recorders, and soon, after posting some music online, they received astounding positive reactions.
Grabbing the attention of Spinefarm Records, they were signed and flew out to Texas to begin the recording of their debut album, Afterthoughts. Even more amazing, the only demos Greywind had going into the recording process were the voice memos from their phones. In addition, the band has not played more than twenty shows live or ever even recorded as much as an EP prior to Afterthoughts. Set for release on January 27th, every aspect of Greywind is truly incredible and awe-inspiring, but if their story does not make you a believer, maybe their music will.
From the start, Afterthoughts is an incredibly emotional album, hitting listeners with a variety of emotions all at once. At the center of these emotions are Steph’s incredibly powerful voice and words which are only amplified by Paul’s Post-Rock tingling guitar playing, which drips with atmosphere. Beginning with the title-track, “Afterthoughts” is a beautiful vocal/guitar duet eventually calling upon the rest of the music to fill out the album. That said, it is worth mentioning that this is a pretty heavy album, but that does not take away from its beauty. The heaviness simply enhances the experience for the listener, making the album an extremely dynamic piece of music. Prime examples are “Forest Ablaze” and “Car Spin,” which are some of the heaviest of the songs, but also the most majestic.
That withheld, the real gems on Afterthoughts are the tracks like “Circle,” which showcases the wonderful and healing Steph’s voice in the most dramatic fashion. There are moments in this track where all the other instrument quiet down and give her the spotlight, justifying how breathtaking her singing truly is. Then there is “Safe Haven,” working as a love letter to the bands that influenced Greywind’s sound such as Brand New.
With no lack of diversity, “Stitch On My Wings” is an interesting song with different elements all working together. Standing out, the first half starts off as a guitar/vocal duet where Steph’s magnificent voice dances around Paul’s incredible guitar strumming. Then, the drums come in, leading the song into an incredible build up that pays off in the end, all the while, Paul’s Post-Rock influences are leading the charge.
Sadly, all good things must end, and Afterthoughts concludes with “Wander,” one of the most emotional tracks of the album. It is a culmination of all the elements in the previous tracks, making for a roller coaster ride, switching between heavy and soft textures. Thus, Afterthoughts ends the way it begins, with Steph’s hauntingly beautiful voice singing the audience to sleep as Paul delicately picks notes that ring out in the distance.
Overall, Afterthoughts is something that comes out, maybe, once a generation, if we are lucky. For a band that has only had a handful of shows, and no other music besides this album, there is an incredible sense of maturity amidst their songs. The sky is the limit for Greywind, and it is just a matter of time before they are touring the world. CrypticRock gives Afterthoughts 5 out of 5 stars.