David Gray: 2021
David Gray performing for FUV Live
David Gray paid his first visit to WFUV’s Bronx studios in 1993 and since that time it’s been richly rewarding to follow his career, highlighted by our occasional interactions with the always amiable and engaging artist.
His new album, Skellig, is concerned with escaping the noise of modern life, and finding the time and headspace to live on one’s own terms without being swallowed by the maelstrom of professional responsibilities and the 24-hour news cycle. Its title refers to Skellig Michael, part of Ireland's westernmost islands in County Kerry. Gray took inspiration from that remote and gorgeous place for the music on this introspective batch of songs.
As he explained in our long-distance conversation, the album is remarkable for the way it was recorded. A handful of members from his live band surrounded David as he played guitar or piano, adding their voices to his without the benefit of overdubs or even headphones.
The versions of the songs in this FUV Live episode are even more intimate because they are performances captured in Gray's home studio in London, which he calls "Ground Control." You'll hear "Heart and Soul" and "Dún Laoghaire" to open the session, and the closer, "Can't Hurt More Than This," which David dedicated to Rita Houston.