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Grayscale Releases New Album "Umbra"- Review

On August 27th, Philadelphia alternative rock band Grayscale released their latest album under Fearless Records titled, "Umbra".

The evolution from previous records "Adornment" and "Nella Vita" is very clear to listeners. Expanding on elements like choir vocals that had been explored on "Tommy’s Song” off of "Nella Vita" repeat several times throughout the album on songs such as “Without You” and “Live Again.”

Sonically, Umbra showcases Grayscale’s variety of influences through their rock drums mixed with their more frequent use of brass instruments. Lyrically, the album discusses a variety of subject matters from unhealthy relationships to grieving the living.

Umbra opens with “Without You,” a song about indifference once getting out of an unhealthy situation with lyrics like “Without you / yeah, I can feel the rush in my veins again.” This track incorporates elements like brass instrumentals as well as a guitar solo from Andrew Kyne.

Following the first track is the first single of the album “Dirty Bombs,” a song about not letting people on the internet impact your livelihood and instead taking the time to appreciate the world around you.

“Bad Love” highlights many elements reminiscent of ‘80s synth pop that balance out with Nick Veno’s signature high-energy drums. “Motown,” a fan favorite off the album, features a catchy guitar riff that serves as a stable part of the chorus of the song, making you want to get up and dance.

“Over Now” details the end of the relationship discussed in previous songs with mellow verses and a hard hitting chorus with the lyrics “Hoping you come around, come around, come around but it’s over now.”

“Dreamcatcher” showcases the talents of the Nicks’ in the band. Nick Veno’s hard-hitting drums and Nick Ventimiglia’s bass lines pair with the mellow instrumentals in the background of the song.

“Live Again” delivers some of the most impactful lyrics on the album about frontman Collin Walsh’s experience with almost losing his father like “Stick around, breathing in / Let me drown so you can swim again.”

“Carolina Skies,” one of the more pop-leaning songs on the album is one of my personal favorites. The chorus breaks up the lyrics with a whimsical guitar riff and drum fill that makes you want to dance while your heart is being torn out.

“King of Everything” is the follow up to “Tommy’s Song” off of Nella Vita. Dealing with the other side of processing his grief, Walsh writes intense lyrics like “You’re still a part of me / See the life you threw away.”

“Babylon (Say It to My Face)” is the second single off the album and the last one written before Umbra’s release. With a funky beat and lyrics that cut straight to the point, I can only imagine how fun it will be live.

“Light” is the mellow track that concludes Umbra with Walsh’s signature storytelling lyrics over a simple and calming synth keyboard part.

Throughout listening to "Umbra", one thing is clear- Grayscale has found and perfected their sound!

You can support Grayscale by buying tickets to their upcoming shows as well as merch on their website here. You can keep up with them by following them on Twitter @GrayscalePA! Don’t forget to tweet us @lgndsoftmrw and tell us your thoughts on "Umbra"!

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