awry (EP, 2017)
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Lindsay Murray’s solo project Gretchen’s Wheel returns with a new release, Moth to Lamplight: A Tribute to Nada Surf (March 22, 2019, Futureman Records).
Murray has often cited Nada Surf as one of her most significant musical influences, their music being one of the primary inspirations in her return to songwriting and recording after a decade-long hiatus. Although she is a relatively new fan, having first heard their music in 2013, Nada Surf quickly had a life-changing impact. And thanks to the wonders of modern technology combined with incredibly good fortune, the first two Gretchen’s Wheel albums, Fragile State (2015) and Behind the Curtain (2016), feature Nada Surf drummer Ira Elliot. (The producer of Fragile State, Ken Stringfellow—another of Murray’s musical heroes—was responsible for making it happen, after her drummer wish list for the album only consisted of Elliot’s name.)
In mid-2018, Murray started planning to record the tribute album, eventually narrowing the track list down to eight songs, “with great difficulty,” she says. “I wanted the songs to be fairly evenly distributed over their discography. It was so hard to omit some of my huge favorites...the idea of going wild and making it a double album was pretty tempting!” she adds.
Like her previous album, Black Box Theory (2018), this album was recorded primarily by Murray in her home studio near Nashville, TN, where she recorded everything except drums, and drums were recorded by Nick Bertling (bertling noise laboratories) in Chicago, IL. Bertling also mixed and mastered the album.
Murray says that recording this album was a musically rewarding and joyful experience. “It allowed me to become fully immersed in these amazing songs and appreciate them even more,” she says, “and I hope that appreciation and my gratitude to the band can be clearly seen in the final result.”
Moth to Lamplight will be released March 22, 2019 and is available to preorder on Bandcamp now (vinyl/CD/digital).
"...she knows the right elements to help her songs come to life with a vibrancy, urgency and emotion that not many are able to do with this kind of ease...And with Sad Scientist, her talents as a producer almost take away from the fact that she’s also the performer. Crisp and bold; alive and colored with nuances, this album leaps right out at you from the start." Full review on POPDOSE
"Overall a fantastic album and highly recommended." (Sad Scientist, rated 8/10) Full review on Powerpopaholic
"Murray’s meaty, thoughtful tunes feel like they straddle the border between introspective power-pop and succinct, catchy alt-rock. The muscular guitars are juxtaposed with Murray’s often-breathy vocals—think Aimee Mann times Melissa Etheridge divided by Emmylou Harris—even as her downbeat, at times self-lacerating lyrics remind of the Gin Blossoms." Full review on The Daily Vault
"Imagine Sloan fronted by Chrissie Hynde...One of the most underrated female vocalists around." Full review on "I Don't Hear a Single"
"The sophomore release from Nashville-based singer/songwriter Lindsay Murray [Behind the Curtain] finds her building upon her 2015, Ken Stringfellow-produced debut, Fragile State, and surpassing that record’s ample charms. Bearing a vocal similarity to Aimee Mann, Murray writes concise, catchy songs filled with emotion while never veering into melodramatics..." Full review on Goldmine Magazine
"Nashville-based Lindsay Murray’s second project as Gretchen’s Wheel is a meaty, inspired collection of songs imbued with powerful emotion...Catchy melodies and intelligent songwriting abound." Full review on Pure Pop Radio
"Despite Gretchen’s Wheel’s last album being produced by The Posies‘ Ken Stringfellow, it’s this album – self produced by Lindsay Murray – that hits the bullseye as power pop with an ever-so-subtle Americana flavor. The guitars jangle and shimmer in all the right places...There’s melody and muscle in equal measure, and even Murray’s songwriting – already her strong suit – seems to have improved on this go-round." Full review on Musoscribe
"Behind The Curtain is a powerful set, a collection that threads melancholy self-examination through a series of shimmery, appealing tunes anchored by Murray’s instantly memorable voice." Full review on The Daily Vault
"...Fragile State is an amalgam of everything that makes us essentially human. Not in an existential, hard-to-reach kinda way, but more in the vein of simply being alive and hoping for a better future. The ’90s influence is definitely present across the record...the mysterious “Masquerade Waltz” falls against an intriguing 3/4 tempo (no surprise there given the title) and creates a timeless, enchanting sound that’s wholly modern. Other standouts are the fuzzy, psychedelic-tinged “Why Try”; “Overcome,” which recalls the vibe of “Waltz” in its classical influence and heavy string presence; and the questioning closer “Total Loss,” in which Murray ponders what’s to come. Well, Lindsay, if your first record is any indication, only good things." Full review on POPDOSE
"...Lindsay’s smoky vocals themselves are reminiscent of the honesty of Aimee Mann and the etherealness of Elizabeth Fraser. Remarkably, this album could have easily been released in the early 90’s, and wistfully effortless slices of pop like 'Second to Last' and 'Why Try' would have found a perfect home on any turn of the decade teenage romantic comedy. As rootsy as all of the songs are here, there’s also a wonderful spacey quality as well, shown off best on the guitars and harmonies of 'My Lullaby.' Undoubtedly, however, one of the best songs here is the maudlin, string-laden 'Overcome.' It’s buried near the end of the record, but it’s a definite highlight. The entire album, however, is worth getting lost in, time and time again." Full review on The Big Takeover Magazine
"...Fragile State was recorded in Brooklyn, Nashville and Paris, an exotic combination you can hear in the lush, cosmopolitan feeling of the almost genre-less music. The album is essentially a collaboration between the talented Murray and producer/multi-instrumentalist Ken Stringfellow (The Posies, Big Star, R.E.M.), with Ira Elliot of Nada Surf playing drums on seven of the 11 tracks...Fragile State is a rich, appealing showcase for Lindsay Murray’s haunting songs and beguiling voice." Full review on The Daily Vault