Based in Atwater Village, the Folk, Bluegrass, and Country-Rock Artist Gilbert Louie Ray releases a sign for the times with his conceptual single, "The Year of the World." Releasing music that covers the Americana genre, Gilbert Louie Ray places honest and realistic lyricism into each song, alongside whimsical melodies for an uplifting approach.
With his recent single "The Year of the World," Gilbert Louie Ray brings a conceptual storyline surrounding the pandemic that has shaken our world to the core. Mentioning that this song goes out to all who feel lost and confused as each unpredictable day passes, we found a safe space to feel these unnerving emotions within Gilbert Louie Ray's single.
"The Year of the World" begins with Country/Bluegrass-inspired acoustic guitar at a downtempo pace. Once Gilbert Louie Ray starts singing the story of the world this year, we can't help but feel safe and secure within his warm, tender, and melodic vocals. The acoustic guitar continues as the song's sole instrumental, bringing a minimalist yet captivating vibe. Not to mention being accompanied by a female's bright and clean vocals for added emphasis, Gilbert Louie Ray touches on heavy subjects for listeners to relate. We love the harmonies that Ray and the featured female vocal provide, creating this sensation of bliss that contrasts our present day.
With lyrics that remind us of our new norm, Gilbert Louie Ray's single "The Year of the World" brings a conceptual storyline that we're sure everyone can relate with.
We highly appreciate a track like "The Year of the World," where all listeners can find a safe space and reflect. Why did you want to create a song surrounding our struggles amid the pandemic?
Since the song has been written, which was in April 2020, a lot has changed in our country and in our world. But one thing I find to be consistent with most folks is our ability to be empathic toward one another. Whether you have lost someone, know someone who has lost someone, or even just hearing stories of people who have lost someone because of this virus, we relate to each other as human beings and that means everything when it comes to something like this.
Why did you choose to keep the instrumentals so minimal yet captivating with your single "The Year of the World?"
I've always found in folk music that messages reach over better when the lyrics are clear and in the front of a recording. The dynamic of rhythm and melody to its most minimal setting as folk music has proven time and time again to be captivating. This tune is just my take of trying to capture that.
Whose vocals were featured alongside yours within "The Year of the World?" Why did you want to be backed up by a female's angelic tone?
The background vocals you hear on the track are graced by the one and only Alicia Blue. In the past, she and I have performed together and I've always felt like our voices meshed well. From Bob Dylan to George Jones and Tammy Wynette covers we would do, I just thought it would be a nice idea to ask her to accompany me on this original tune. This was the first time we ever recorded anything from a studio perspective and I am so grateful for her to lend her amazing voice. Hell of a poet and songwriter herself.
Seeing as your song "The Year of the World" was written in April, why did you choose to release it now? Did you rework or tweak the single since April?
I think the only reason why I released it much later than when it was written was because of just sheer fright. I don't often write songs that have a social point of view or even the slightest graze on the topic of politics and the state of society. But having played this life for many friends to get their take on it, I was encouraged to record it and release it and to get over what anyone may think of my art and what I wanna do with it, to say the least. I produced the track myself and I am my own worst critic and that also may have had a hand in my delay in releasing it. Acquaintances.
What has been keeping you inspired in 2020?
Spending a lot of time at home, what keeps me inspired is my appreciation and aspiration of the recording process. I turned my living room into a studio because of my ambition to DIY. I've gotten closer to my family has been home a lot. And I've come to realize who are my close friends and who are my close acquaintances, and I am grateful for them all. I'm pretty much just happy to be around the good ones.