New York singer-songwriter Grei premieres her debut single, “What You Need”, on CelebMix. Only 20-years old, Grei’s distinctive voice combines smoke-filled timbres with luminous SoCal textures.
From a family of professional musicians, she started playing the piano and singing at age five. By the time she hit her teen years, she was writing songs and playing the guitar. Grei’s sound ranges from simmering, elegiac folk music to glittering electro-pop.
“What You Need” opens with a horizontally droning synth, austere almost industrial sonic accents, handclap percussion, and a thumping kick drum from the Marianas Trench, deep and potent. The steady drone juxtaposed against the handclaps infuses raw, visceral tension. Grei’s affluent, delicate voice enters, imbuing the tune with vulnerability, wisps of tantalizing recollection, and textures of palpable edginess.
On the chorus, the synths escalate, infusing the tune with surfacing waves of heavy color, as suffused vocal harmonies add mood and dimension, as well as delicious harmonic layers. The pulsing, thrumming energy forms a dense surge of muscularity and assertive sonic declaration.
The lyrics of “What You Need” offer no pretense of stoic resignation. Grei confronts her lover with scathing candor.
“Complacent I let you get the best of me / Manipulated you’ve made it so you’re all I see / I pick up on the little things / The red flags that were warning me / And then you had the nerve to tell me / That I’m not what you need right now / I’m not what you need.”
“What You Need” is excellent. There’s a galvanizing taut pressure to the music, intense and full of beau coup surging verve. Grei’s voice offers subtle, refined hues shimmering with emotion. She is definitely an artist to keep an eye on.