‘Sharing similar mantra for ambition, it proves the sibling-duo won’t let a pandemic dampen their musical ethos.’
Intro to Greywind
It isn’t often that siblings can agree with each other, but musical brother and sister duo Greywind are surpassing the stereotype and working together to deliver us unique and cinematic alternative rock. Having taken a huge step outside their hometown in Ireland, Steph (vocals) and Paul O’Sullivan (guitar) have already toured with American rock band Palaye Royale, performed for the US Embassy, and played huge stages at festivals including Reading and Leeds and the Isle of Wright. Now though, their latest release Am I Asleep? proves that they not only share blood but a similar mantra for ambition. Emphasising that they won’t let the pandemic dampen their musical ethos, this return single – which comes two years after their album Afterthoughts – sees them continue to establish a rocking name for themselves, and build on previous successes including support from Radio 1 and MTV.
Working as the follow up to their 2017 debut album ‘Afterthoughts’, ‘Am I Asleep?’ was always going to have some big shoes to fill. However, while it may be sonically contrasting to that previous release, in it taking a slightly alternative approach it more than delivers. Inspired by movies, Am I Asleep? remains steady in its delivery, unfazed by heavy drum beats or seething guitars keeping the tempo steady, yet purposeful. Nevertheless, it is still the same Greywind and that rocky edge is nowhere near extinguished.
Flickering with elements of their signature sound, the textural undercurrent of former releases lurks in the background. Ever-recurring guitar motifs ring delicately, with sustained harmonies bring additional textural interest to chorus content. Meanwhile, in handing the reigns over to poetically potent lyrics and reverberating rhetorical questioning, we catch a glimpse of another side to Greywind. A side that focuses heavily on lyrical sentiment and exposed emotional sensibility.
This is not to say that we aren’t treated to those omnipotent drums and guitars, because we most definitely are, especially when we head in a more dramatic direction via the bridge. However, the single is very much focused on finding both a cinematic kind of evocation, and a deeper vocal narrative. Commenting on this, Greywind say: “During the writing process for ‘Am I Asleep?’, we were heavily inspired by movies. We’ve always aimed to bring a cinematic sound to our music and visuals, and we wanted to expand on that more than ever.”
Letting the story unfold under the most intimate spotlight that post-rock has to offer, Am I Asleep? is a single that blossoms, rather than relies on sonic explosions typical of the genre, and as a result, is a unique soundscape that opens up a realm of cinematic possibilities.
Full Feature by Harriet Heywood