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  • Writer's pictureSammie Stewart

Grayscale makes their return with new album,"Umbra"

TW: In this article I will be talking about themes such as death and suicide. Please read with caution.

After cryptically teasing new music for several months, Philly based alternative band Grayscale finally dropped a new album on August 27th. Umbra consists of 11 songs and is about 36 minutes long. The record also had three singles, "Dirty Bombs", "Babylon (Say It to My Face)", and my personal favorite, "Live Again". "Dirty Bombs" and "Live Again" were both accompanied with music videos as well. All three singles are amazing, and were a great introduction to the album itself.

As mentioned before, "Live Again" is my favorite single, and is actually also my favorite song period on Umbra. It's a very emotional song that lead singer Collin Walsh wrote about his father being sick. Walsh didn't know if his dad would make it, thus this song was born. This is a song that is very relatable to me. My mother was in and out of the hospital for years until her tragic death. The music video for this song is also very emotional. It starts out with Walsh walking the streets of Philly, until he eventually makes it to a hospital. An ambulance is there, with the flashing lights still on. Walsh walks up the steps to the hospital as he's surrounded by a chorus. As he enters the building, they disappear. This song just has a really near and dear place in my heart, and it's definitely in my top favorite Grayscale songs.

My favorite songs that aren't singles are "Motown" and "King of Everything". These two tracks are very different from each other: one is super sexual and fun, and the other is about losing someone to suicide. "Motown" is a fan favorite, and after my first listen, I was instantly hooked. It's so fun to scream at the top of your lungs, and I can't wait to (hopefully) here it live on the Umbra tour. "King of Everything" is another very emotional song. This track is a follow up to "Tommy's Song" from Grayscale's previous record, Nella Vita. A few years back, Walsh's cousin tragically took his own life. "King of Everything" is basically Collin's side of it, and how much the death has affected him as a person. I highly respect him for being so vulnerable and putting out songs like this, and I wish him the very best in this healing process.

There isn't a single bad song on Umbra. I find myself coming back to every single song on this album. I've been listening to it on repeat ever since it came out, and I'm still not sick of it. All the songs are so unique. From "Without You" being about being happy to get out of a toxic relationship, to "Carolina Skies" being a more emotional song about not being good enough for the person you're interested in. I think I can say with confidence that this is my favorite album of 2021. Getting to experience some of these songs live (Dirty Bombs and Babylon) made me grow an even greater appreciation for them. I can't wait to hear even more of them live in December during the Umbra tour.

To wrap it all up, I'm going to give Umbra five out of five stars. I absolutely adore this album, and it's also helped me through a lot this past month. I'm so thankful I had the opportunity to see them three days in a row while I was in one of the worst depressive episodes I have had in a while. I can never thank these guys enough. So, to Grayscale, if you're reading this, thank you. I love you guys with all my heart and I'm so proud of y'all. Keep up the great work.

Umbra is available everywhere now! (Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, YouTube, etc.) Check them out on the Umbra tour this fall:

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