After months (and we literally mean MONTHS) of cryptic posting and shady behavior, a new Grayscale era is finally upon us! With an entire pandemic between us and the last time we received an album from these guys, we’re seriously itching for some new lyrical storytelling genius. Obviously, we have no doubt that Collin, Andy, Dallas, Venti, and Veno will make sure to impress beyond belief. So let’s step into UMBRA and look over everything we know about the new music!
To no surprise, it all started with the not-so-subtle social media wipe, followed by complete radio silence. The first post arrived 12/20/2020 and it took over a month for another post to appear. From then on, the posts slowly increased in frequency. In May, the new Sad Summer Festival dates were announced and it seemed like maybe that’s what the big lead-up was about. Wrong. In June, there was another distraction of Side Summer tour dates, but the cryptic posts continued. On 06/11/2021, we saw yet another momentary stray from the secrecy with the announcement of LIVE FROM THE TLA. So many exciting things for Grayscale and yet, the cryptic posts with very minimal information continued. The suspense and anticipation were agonizing for fans across the world. It took until July (nearly SEVEN months since the very first post), for any sort of hint to drop.
Though it was merely a black and white image of guitarist Andrew Kyne, captioned “Two weeks.” fans immediately latched onto the information and braced for the next hint. We waited an entire week for another hint. This time we were blessed with what seemed like lyrics!
Still running on limited information, fans were getting antsy. Was it a new single? An entire album? A headlining fall tour? What was this new era going to look like? Are we even getting a new era? Are they building off Nella Vita as a result of the pandemic? When would all of our questions be answered? Only time would tell. Though, as luck would have it, two days later we were granted our “when.”
Thursday. We’d have answers by then, surely. This caption came as a promise, followed by a quick video post.
Thursday. Thursday. Thursday.
I wonder if Grayscale has plans for Thursday? We definitely didn’t rearrange our entire schedule to make sure we were free or anything. No way. We’d never do that.
By the time the next post went live, major suspicion was growing. Fans had begun to receive signed postcards in the mail with nothing but a QR code and “STEP INTO UMBRA” in dark ink across the front. This was it. The moment we’ve waited for since December of 2020. Finally, the perfect end to over a year of isolation and loneliness and pandemic-worries. We, as a group, were bracing to journey into an umbra, whatever that meant.
Umbra: (noun, plural um·bras, um·brae) the fully shaded inner region of a shadow cast by an opaque object, especially the area on the earth or moon experiencing the total phase of an eclipse.
Umbra: meaning “shade” in Latin.
Oh, so you mean basically… this new era is about embracing the gray areas of life? Ya know, like a grayscale. Get it? Because they’re… Grayscale. *buh dum tss* Sorry.
Wednesday came with the announcement of a live q&a leading into the midnight premiere of their new single and music video for ‘Dirty Bombs!’ Which felt like such a bright light at the end of a very long, dark tunnel. COVID brought on the near disappearance of so many bands and the delay of so much new music. To finally see it all being released into a world where touring is possible again is indescribably amazing.
Here’s everything we learned during the quick q&a with front-man Collin Walsh:
Umbra is the title of their third studio album with Fearless Records, releasing August 27, 2021. It has eleven tracks.
It is their most artistically creative album yet, as well as their most musical. Umbra is their favorite body of work thus far. After having the last year and a half to really redefine their sound and operation as a band, they’ve landed on an alternative rock album that they couldn’t be more proud of and are really excited to share with the world!
Talk of returning to live shows seeped in and it was revealed that ‘Without You,’ which is track one of the new album, is what they’re most excited to play once they’re able to hit the stage again. While ‘Live Again’ – track seven – is probably the biggest tear-jerker, being a very personal and cathartic song to the vocalist. The leading single, ‘Dirty Bombs,’ stands as their lyrical favorite on the album.
After a quick hello from the rest of the band (sans Nick Ventimiglia), Walsh explains that the overall theme of the upcoming record deals with internal conflict and man vs self, focussing on intent and perception.
Stream ‘Dirty Bombs’ now!
A track that reflects on self-preservation and not allowing the opinions of others to impact your integrity, ‘Dirty Bombs,’ introduces the world to the sound of Umbra. It’s groovy. And the fun, upbeat melody plays a nice contrast against the melancholy lyrics. It’s the perfect song to round out the summer and head into fall with. While lyrically less visual than the tracks found on the band’s sophomore album, ‘Dirty Bombs’ still manages to easily strike a chord with its listeners. In short, they couldn’t have created a better bridge leading from Nella Vita.
The music video is grainy and grungy, with camera angles that circle an intimate performance from the guys themselves. It only elevates this already intense feeling of reconnection with music and the guys of Grayscale and a post-COVID world. We are absolutely overjoyed to experience Umbra in its entirety and we hope you are too!
01. ‘Without You’
02. ‘Dirty Bombs’
03. ‘Bad Love’
05. ‘Over Now’
07. ‘Live Again’
08. ‘Carolina Skies’
09. ‘King of Everything’
10. ‘Babylon (Say It to My Face)’
We are so excited to get into a crowd this summer and jam to these new songs! What shows will we see you at? Which songs are you most excited to hear? Tell us in the comments or tweet us @TheHoneyPop! And make sure to snag tickets to Grayscale’s Sad Summer & Side Summer dates!
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Featured Image, Article Images & Video Source: Jordan Mizrahi