“Duology: A set of two works of art that are connected… commonly found in literature, film and video games… less common in other art forms.” (Wikipedia)
Common wisdom was never going to suit Gretta Ray. Her first release of 2021 introduces an innovative concept in new music sharing: Duologies – two songs joined in theme but creatively distinct, issued as a pair, with echoes of the classic Double A-sided single.
“The idea of paired songs is something I’ve already played with,” the Melbourne singer-songwriter says, pointing to her Here and Now EP of 2018. “I used to refer to Radio Silence and Time on stage as ‘sister songs’: they’re about the same scenario from different angles.”
“When I write a song, I often find it’s in response to something that I’ve already written about, whether that be a week or a year ago. Bigger Than Me and Readymade are both songs about my relationship with creativity, which is something that I can become very obsessive about, especially since I’ve found myself on that path, completely immersed in it, collaborating with a lot of like-minded people.”
Rising from the simmering thrill of a strange inner-city hotel to the vertigo of 30,000 feet, Bigger Than Me is a big, exhilarating pop song that embraces the leap of faith in Gretta’s meteoric journey, from winning Triple J Unearthed and the Vanda & Young Songwriting Award at 18 to her recent inroads in London and the USA.
“I was aware I’d entered this new chapter of my life: travelling to create, and meeting and working with creative people,” she says. “When we wrote Bigger Than Me, I was reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert at the time, which is a very beautiful take on creativity being this kind of spiritual outer force that we engage with.”
Bigger Than Me, co-produced by Robby De Sa and Dylan Nash, was an act of almost ecstatic collaboration, written in one 12-hour session with Dylan Nash (Dean Lewis) and Ned Philpot in Sydney, and destined to become a peak gig experience.
The video shot in Melbourne and directed by Josh Harris brings the vibrant song to life with a glowing and lively performance from Gretta. ‘‘This video is a colourful celebration of my relationship to the outer, all-consuming force that is creativity. An ode to all my creative collaborators and mentors over the years.’ says Gretta of the video.
On the flip side, Readymade arrived four months later, written with Duncan Boyce (Sam Smith) in London under the same thematic spell, but with the more intimate, reflective tone of an inner voice in a quiet room.
“Readymade is the after-show moment, when everything falls away, there’s that ringing in your ears in the empty hotel room with the adrenaline calming down… but the comfort of that creative force is still very much with you,” Gretta says. “It’s like going home to your creative self; the only love that’s forever.”
Bigger Than Me / Readymade is the first in a series of Duologies lined up for release through 2021.