As Gretta Ray gives fans another taste of music ahead of her forthcoming debut album, the acclaimed artist has taken to the triple j studios to pay tribute to Gang of Youths for the latest edition of Like a Version.
Appearing on the weekly segment this morning, Ray kicked things off with a rendition of “Cherish”, which saw its official release as part of her third double A-side single, “Cherish”/The Brink” (Duology Three), earlier today.
Speaking about the songs as part of an accompanying press release, Ray explained that “Cherish” was “sort of a crying-in-the-club song”, and arrived following a session with Dylan Nash that itself occurred after some difficult personal experiences.
“At the time I was really mad. I think I just needed it for my pride,” she explained, “but when I went to finish it with [producer] Robby De Sa, I heard it as more sad; bittersweet.”
However, the biggest takeaway from Ray’s Like a Version performance was undoubtedly her cover of former tourmates Gang of Youths’ 2017 single, “The Deepest Sighs, the Frankest Shadows”. Equal parts passionate and powerful, Ray explained after the fact that it was chosen for the impact it has in a live setting.
“I love watching their live shows so much and the whole show is amazing. But it’s a particularly special moment when they play this song,” she explained. “The crowd gets so involved and I really miss watching and playing live shows. And I feel like covering the song is an ode to that missing.”
Fittingly, Gretta Ray’s cover arrives just a week after the release of Gang of Youths’ surprise EP, total serene, and a month before the release of her debut album Begin to Look Around, which itself features Gangs frontman David Le’aupepe on the currently-unreleased track, “Worldy-wise”.
“‘Worldly-wise’ is one of the songs on the record that sings of a regained sense of independence, found in your surroundings,” Ray explains. “It’s written like a letter of encouragement to myself I suppose.
“Having Gang Of Youths involved in the song felt perfect, because while writing the album, a lot of the times that I felt like I was finding myself in the world I was on tour with that band.”