Indigenous Alt-Pop Artist Carsen Gray Releases The Intimate New EP ‘Notes To Self’
October 1, 2022 BY Jason Currell
Today, indigenous alt-pop songwriter Carsen Gray is proud to release her intimate new EP, Notes to Self. The six-song collection sees Gray go back to the basics with lush acoustics, sparse arrangements, and angelic vocals. Listen to Notes to Self on all digital retailers here.
In addition to the new release, Carsen Gray unveils a stunning new music video for “Alive.” Perhaps her most vulnerable song to date, Gray opens up about life’s struggles and delivers a powerful sentiment of persistence and perseverance.
“The song is about not giving up on your love for somebody just because of the dark seasons you may go through. It’s about loving someone unconditionally,” she explains.
“The music video for “Alive” has a powerful and universal underlying message that the ups and downs of any relationship are by a grand design. Ultimately the world that we live in is governed by Polarity, so we must not get down and give up on something we love in those low points, and learn to weather the storms that come our way to make it to brighter days.”
WATCH & SHARE “ALIVE” OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO:
50 miles off the coast of mainland British Columbia, you’ll find Haida Gwaii. This collection of islands serves as home to just shy of 5,000 residents who all contribute to its quiet magic. Seemingly removed from the rest of the world, yet intrinsically connected to its rawest essence, Carsen Gray calls this place home. Born of Haida Indigenous and mixed descent, the award-winning singer and songwriter commutes the peace of her surroundings into a soulful sound spiked with R&B energy, pop universality, and a twist of local spirit.
Growing up in Haida Gwaii, Carsen’s mother recognized her talent early on. During a trip to Ontario at nine-years-old, she recorded for the first time. Immediately, mom called her uncle Bobby Taylor who not only fronted Bobby Taylor & the Vancouvers, but also famously discovered, mentored, and produced The Jackson 5’s 1969 debut, Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5, and the follow-up, ABC. Under Bobby’s wing, she performed around Vancouver. Among her fondest memories, he often sat down with her at the piano for hours on end, fostering her passion for gospel and soul.
Inspired by Motown icons as well as Céline Dion, Mariah Carey, and Alicia Keys, she cultivated a signature style of her own equally steeped in singer-songwriter tradition and full-bodied R&B.
Turning heads, Carsen’s 2017 self-titled debut earned “Best New Artist” at SiriusXM’s Indigenous Music Awards, while 2018’s “Wanna See You” with JUNO Award-nominated DJ Shub received “Best Radio Single.” Along the way, she performed on the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) and at JunoFest. During 2020, her single “Sah ‘Laana” and its intimate accompanying music video caught the attention of Nettwerk Music Group, and she signed to the label. Her music has received high praise from media outlets like COMPLEX, Exclaim!, PopWrapped, and Cowboys & Indians Magazine who named Carsen a “Next Native American Star.”
Throughout 2021, she assembled her debut EP Each Moment (2022), with her husband, primary collaborator, and producer Joey Stylez. After their kids fell asleep, they often recorded late into the night. “The driving force is gratitude,” she explains. “At this point in my life, I’m in a really good place… I thought about all of the things I’m grateful for and what I’ve been blessed with for my family, for the life I’ve built, and the creative space I have. Being home in Haida Gwaii, I had the opportunity to create at a Zen pace. We’re all born with a God-given gift. I believe I found mine with music. The project is reflective, because I’m talking about God, my partner, love, and home.”
CARSEN GRAY IN THE PRESS…
“Her soulful voice crosses the genres of R&B, Pop and Folk—she’s proven that she isn’t limiting herself into any specific box. Her musical talents are tied together with the spirit of her culture and community…” –COMPLEX
“…just unaffected talent and refreshing earnestness… the best soul-rebooting forest bathing with similarly healing musical accompaniment…” –Cowboys & Indians Magazine
“There are some artists in the world that can just soothe you, need it be through their voice, their music or a combination of both. Carsen Gray is one such artist.” –PopWrapped
“…uplifting and organic songwriting style…” –Dusty Organ
“…enchanting…” –Roadie Music
1. Everything is Bless
2. Loud Love
3. Back back
5. Cry To Me