David Gray today shared the video for new single ‘Enter Lightly’. Taken from Gray’s new album The Best Of, released last week through Kobalt Label Services/IHT Records, the video finds Gray – a former student of Liverpool Arts School – painting a large canvas in the style of Jackson Pollock. Speaking about the video Gray said, “I used to be a painter and music and painting were two separate wings of the way my brain was lit up. Then at a certain point I concentrated on music and I let painting and drawing go, and I don’t really know why, I’ve always felt kind of bad about it like it’s a dead friend… I’m hoping to resuscitate that friend today!”
‘Enter Lightly’ is the second new single to be released by Gray this autumn following the release of ‘Smoke Without Fire’. Both tracks feature on The Best Of; an album issued a quarter of a century after Gray’s recording career originally began and which takes in highlights from top 5 album Draw The Line, 2011’s Founding and 2014’s critically acclaimed Mutineers, alongside longstanding classics from Gray’s three number 1 albums, including the 6 million-selling, Grammy-nominated White Ladder. Gray will be rounding out the year with a string of solo acoustic shows (which sold-out 3 months in advance), commencing at Manchester’s Albert Hall on December 11 and including a two night run at London’s Cadogan Hall on December 13 & 14.
In an age where streaming services allow us to access an artist’s digital archive and curate our own selections, a fair question might be ‘In 2016, what does a Greatest Hits collection actually mean?’ It’s a question that Gray and his label posed to themselves when considering how best to compile a present-day representation of his massive catalogue of hits, which are being streamed over a million times a week. The result – ‘Best of David Gray Weekly’ (viewable through David’s website) – is an innovative Spotify playlist (available alongside traditional CD, deluxe CD and double gatefold vinyl formats), which replaces the static snapshot of a traditional collection with an adaptive track-listing which changes weekly to reflect the most streamed tracks in Gray’s catalogue. As this playlist fluxes – and with new tracks ‘Smoke Without Fire’ and ‘Enter Lightly’ just as likely to rub shoulders here with classics like ‘Shine’ (re-recorded as a 25th anniversary version especially for this release) – the proposition becomes not The Greatest Hits, but Your Greatest Hits.
Listen to David Gray talk about the new Best Of and his career in the XS Noize Music Podcast BELOW:
In addition, the vinyl format and deluxe CD version of The Best Of will feature a collection of songs of Gray’s own choosing, including three new re-recordings. Speaking about the process Gray says; “It felt like the right thing to do to accompany the main collection with a group of tracks that has been selected by me for no other reason than that they occupy a special place in my heart and have meant a lot to me down the years. These recordings stand like markers in the road, and I still refer back to them every now and then, whenever I’m in need of taking my creative bearings.”
Whilst he will admit to the curious experience of taking stock of his successes- “It’s certainly a strange business stopping the clock and listening to your younger self singing back to you from across the years”, in The Best Of, Gray has delivered on a rare remit- a living, breathing collection every bit as dynamic and vital as the 25 year long career it spans.
AN EVENING WITH DAVID GRAY
11 December MANCHESTER Albert Hall SOLD OUT
13 December LONDON Cadogan Hall SOLD OUT
14 December LONDON Cadogan Hall SOLD OUT
16 December EDINBURGH Usher Hall SOLD OUT
17 December GATESHEAD Sage SOLD OUT
18 December BRISTOL Colston Hall SOLD OUT