Release date: 24/10/2011
debut album on Transmission Recordings
Monday 24th October 2011
The album we hold in our hands today, the optimistically-titled Brighter Day, may have only taken a fortnight to record, but really it’s been a whole 26 years in the making; through growing up and moving on, heartbreak and playing the violin, to Kandinsky paintings...
The debut single from Sam Gray Cartwheel Queen was released earlier this month and touched a note with all who heard it. Radio 2 immediately play listed the track where it stayed for a month, regional and internet radio support was massive countrywide, nationally gaining plays from Steve Wright, Janice Long and Chris Tarrant. Charlie Simpson (Busted, Fightstar) had Sam as a special guest on his tour, as did boy band Westlife. With more touring to come in the autumn, including a run of European dates with punk pop rising stars King Blues , Sam’s formidable live performances and brilliant pop songs can only capture a wider and wider audience.
It has been a busy year for Sam, as well as touring, he has been occupied writing this record and penning works for other artists (including a hit in the Far East and a platinum selling album in the Netherlands for “Voice Of” star and winner Ben Saunders, with the shows airing soon in the UK). Sam has also been writing the debut album for one of the UK’s other new super talents, 17 year old actress and performer Abi Phillips. So far Sam and Abi have written songs that have appeared in various scenes in Hollyoaks throughout 2011 and Sam has also co-written Abi’s debut single Summer Sunshine featuring UK rapper Fugitive. Abi and Sam come together once more on the co- written composition Coming Home. The single has been selected for the British Legion’s 90th anniversary of Remembrance Sunday and Poppy Day appeal, with an exciting and audacious attempt to get ninety thousand people to sing along during the chorus.
Influenced by Stevie Wonder, Irish folk and Motown classics Sam drew inspiration from these childhood musical heroes. Now based in Manchester the city’s musical lineage did not escape Sam either and he has spent the last few years learning his trade and paying his dues in time honoured fashion: in bands, clubs and bars across the town and the country.
An encounter with legendary drummer Steve White led to the break Sam needed. Sam arranged his own showcase and pretty much demanded to be heard; Steve introduced Sam to Notting Hill Music / Transmission Records boss Andy McQueen and Sam was signed on the spot. Sam ’s talent now had a home and a champion: recording for the album began.
The album is a finely crafted piece of work, full of soaring melodies and life affirming lyrics. With additional production and mixing by the legendary ‘Lynch mob’ aka Brendan Lynch and Max Heyes, who together have powered and sprinkled their magic on artists such as Paul Weller, Ocean Colour Scene and Primal Scream.
Though recorded in less than two weeks it is a testimony to the talent of Sam and the quality of the musicians he chose to play with (including Ocean Colour Scene’s Damon Minchella on bass) that marks Brighter Day out as an infectious and upbeat biography of Sam’s life. The album reflects both the heartbreak and aspirations that Sam Gray, has lived through. In Brighter Day we have an album of great songs played by great musicians and it really doesn’t need to be more complicated than that.
Brighter Day the single, will be the follow up to the massive Cartwheel Queen and is out on Monday 10th October 2011.
Sam Gray will be touring the Uk throughout autumn 2011. Details tba.