On Monday night, Warner Music’s newly signed Jack Gray played an intimate rooftop set at the Standard Hotel. The Aussie musician played the songs from his newly released Nights Like This EP in front of his new Warner label family, Spotify curators, and press to introduce his music to the media capital of the world.
On stage, Gray was a natural and didn’t display any signs of nerves. Playing a full acoustic set, Gray complemented his easygoing vocals with a guitar and keyboard for the six song set, smiling and making ample eye contact with the crowd as if he was in a room full of friends. With low pressure, he took time to explain the meaning of his songs and the emotional state he was in while writing them, adding an extra level of personality to each of the tunes prior to playing them out. The common theme of the EP is the complexity of intimate relationships, and in Jack’s own words:
1. “Fools” is a song about staying too long in a very messy, failed relationship.
2. “Drunk Talk” is about saying the wrong things at the wrong time and later regretting it.
3. “Down Side of Up” ponders the balance between optimism and pessimism in setting expectations.
4. “Bullet” is about Australia’s suicide crisis and that there are always two sides of a person’s story.
5. “Take Our Time” is about long distance relationships, “which suck“.
Before he capped off the evening with an energetic performance of his new single “Fools,” Gray steered the crowd off-course for a moment and played his favorite cover song, dedicated to the ladies in the room: “Girls Just Want To Have Fun.” Despite a broken string on the acoustic guitar, Jack stood up and jammed out like a true veteran, seemingly ignoring that any incident had even happened.
If you’re a fan of singer-songwriters like Dean Lewis and Lewis Capaldi, who infuse modern pop into their singer-songwriter style, Jack Gray should be next on your radar to keep an eye on. Jack Gray’s debut EP is an exciting statement that deserves a full listen and demonstrates that the Aussies are fully in the pop game, and not going away any time soon.