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DIY Discovery | Reay

The Ontario alt-rockers' debut took 15 years. But trust me, it's well worth the wait.

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Most of the music I hear is sent to me by labels and publicists. But there’s nothing like getting it straight from the source. Welcome to the latest instalment of DIY Discovery, where I introduce you to artists who have sent me their music directly (and who don’t suck — that’s definitely part of the deal too). If you’d like to get in on that action, scroll down to the bottom of the page. But don’t skip over today’s great homegrown find:


Reay

HOME: Orillia, Ont.

LATEST RELEASE: Their oustanding debut Butterfly Tongue Revisited, a disc that took about as long to make as Guns N’ RosesChinese Democracy — but with far less drama and far more satisfying results.

MY PITHY DESCRIPTION: Timeless rock for our times.

NINE ADJECTIVES FOR THEIR MUSIC: Old-school, organic, authentic, grounded, groovy, warm, intoxicating, accomplished, crafted.

WHO THEY SOUND LIKE: A vintage alt-rock band that somehow managed to slip through the cracks of history.


MY REVIEW

Making great music takes time. Granted, it doesn’t usually take as long as the 15 years it took Reay leader Sean Murray to put together Butterfly Tongue Revisited. But hey, that’s the way life works. And trust me, this puppy is well worth the wait — assuming you like classic alt-rock fashioned from low-slung grooves, rich earworm melodies, instantly catchy choruses, sweetly dusty vocals and gently swirling sonics. Free from trendy posturing and self-indulgent crud-blort, BTR is an album that would have sounded great 20 years ago and will still sound great 20 years from now. But more importantly, it sounds great right now. So what are you waiting for? After all, there’s no time like the present.


IN THEIR OWN WORDS

“Some butterflies spend their lives in migration, flying toward the horizon on determination and instinct. Sean Murray can identify. He has spent ages doggedly pursuing a distant goal: The completion of Butterfly Tongue Revisited, a labour of love from his indie-rock project Reay. ‘This has been a project of perseverance,’ he understates. ‘It’s been in the works for 15 years … Now it’s finally finished. And it’s the most soul-cleansing experience of my life.’

“It’s also a listening experience you won’t forget. BTR is an album in the organic, old-school sense: Expertly crafted, carefully arranged and sequenced to be transcendent and transfixing, timely yet timeless, familiar yet unique. There are sonic, stylistic and songwriting nods to everyone from Pink Floyd to The Verve, Death Cab to War on Drugs — all topped with Murray’s soulful rasp and poetic lyrics.

“For Reay — Murray, guitarist Ryan Smith, bassist Chad VanDusen, drummer Matt Copeland and Bayze Murray on guitar/keyboards — the trip has just begun. With Butterfly Tongue Revisited taking flight Sept. 6, Murray is already eyeing the horizon. ‘My goal is to make four or five more of these.’ This butterfly isn’t touching down anytime soon.”


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YOUR TURN

If you’d like to be a DIY Discovery, no problemo: Just go to the Submit Music page, fill out the form and hit send. Or email me directly. I can’t promise I’ll feature you, but if you’re as awesome as you think you are, it could happen. You never know.