Indigenous Alt-Pop Songwriter CARSEN GRAY Releases the Euphoric EP ‘Each Moment’
January 28, 2022 BY Jason Currell
Indigenous alt-pop songwriter Carsen Gray shares her euphoric new EP Each Moment, out now via Nettwerk. Over the course of seven songs, Gray pays tribute to the idyllic Canadian island of Haida Gwaii where she calls home. “The driving force is gratitude,” she explains. “At this point in my life, I’m in a really good place. With COVID-19, I thought about all 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.” Together with her husband, primary collaborator, and producer, Joey Stylez, she delivers a beautifully authentic extension of herself.
The soulful, healing energy has resonated with fans and press alike with Cowboys & Indians Magazine hailing Gray as a “rising talent,” and COMPLEX highlighting her dynamic sound that “crosses the genres of R&B, Pop, and Folk.”
Listen to Each Moment on all digital retailers here.
50 miles off the coast of mainland British Columbia, you’ll find Haida Gwaii. 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. After making waves across Canada, she introduces herself to the world on her 2022 debut EP Each Moment.
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. In 2020, her single “Sah ‘Laana” and its intimate accompanying music video caught the attention of Nettwerk Music Group, and she signed to the label.
Throughout 2021, she assembled the EP with her husband, primary collaborator, and producer Joey Stylez. Following the wistful “Someplace,” she teased the project with “Colours Like Yours.” Backed by a head-nodding bass line, her breathy vocals glide towards an upbeat and anthemic refrain.
The single “Each Moment” threads together delicate vocals and lithe finger-picked acoustic guitar as her voice takes flight on the chorus. “It’s about putting your phone down, getting off social media, and being in the moment.”
Handclaps underscore the Biblically inspired lyrics of “In The Garden” as she ponders the story of Adam and Even in the context of “wishing we could go back and change the mistake we made.” Then, there’s “Heaven’s Touch” where she “explores the ups and downs of life and reminds us even though times get tough, they get better.” Twinkling piano glimmers through “Worth It,” which doubles as a love letter.
The EP concludes on “Here With Me.” Its chilled R&B folk highlights the ebb and flow of her vocals as she delivers one last impassioned performance.
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