California’s Grey Returns With Grimy New EP Release “CONTRA”

Californian duo Grey made their debut in 2016 with “Starving” featuring Hailee Steinfeld. At the time of its release, not many expected how popular the duo could become from just one track. The song displayed a simple guitar lick that transformed into an infectious radio earworm.

The duo contributed to “The Middle” with Zedd shortly after and their legacy in EDM was quickly implemented as well. On the duo’s new “CONTRA” EP, Grey evolves from their previous classic indie-pop & future bass styles to go into a darker post-punk infusion.

The “CONTRA” EP, from brothers Kyle and Michael Trewartha, is Grey’s first project since their 2020 sister EPs “LIGHT” and “DARK”. With only a few collaborations done in 2021, one of them being a track for Netflix’s “The Royal Treatment”, this five-track EP is hopefully the start of more for the duo and a return to the limelight. 

Visualizer for “CONTRA”

The EP heads in a new direction presenting sentiment and a storming aesthetic. The opening track and lead single “7-DS” opens mortality in a vivid way. “7-DS”, short for the seven deadly sins, is easily reminiscent of the 2000s wave of emo classics with a future bass twist.

Evanescence, Flyleaf, and Linkin Park – their notable innovations to music and genre making are so essential Machine Gun Kelly transformed his entire career and attempted the emo/punk sound. Unlike MGK, this lead track alone, with its evocative distortions, cautious lyrics, and moving storytelling transports us into hell and better yet, CONTRA. 

The title track “CONTRA” tasks itself quite differently from the rest of the project. It’s a transportation spell in the form of a song and one that continues off of “7-DS”, leading the listener to “IDK”. Both “CONTRA” and “IDK” offer a primary instrumental journey while still allowing an easy listening and rave-able anthem at any EDM festival on the planet.

Grey CONTRA EP
Artwork for single “IDK” (Courtesy Grey)

Previous to its packaged 5-track list, “7-DS”, “CONTRA”, “IDK” and “RAVEN”, were all available for streaming and put out as promotional singles. Left out was the “CONTRA” EP’s finale, “SILVER LINEN” featuring SAYAK DAS, a genre-bending LA artist. “SILVER LINEN” returns to that originally bass-boosted sound all EDM lovers know. Continuing with the “CONTRA” central theme, the lustful grimy track is an easy radio play that could follow up the duo’s love of chart-topping tracks.

Though relatively short, five tracks isn’t an unfamiliar embodiment for Grey, or anyone in EDM for that matter. The “CONTRA” EP showcases that Grey still has it. For them, an EP full of soundscapes, heart, and creativity works better than an 11-track project with fillers. This body of work is majestic, entertaining, and one that could easily be perfected in a live setting. The duo has yet to announce any live performances for the near future but, if the setlist contains any of these five tracks, it’s a ticket worth getting.

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