On October 2nd, John Grant will release his third solo album ‘Grey Tickles, Black Pressure’ produced by John Congleton (St. Vincent, Swans) and mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound. Lyrically and musically, the 12 original songs represent Grant’s most ambitious work, fusing lush strings and electronic influences with his singular wit and brutal candor.
The album opens in an unsettling swirl of overlapping male voices repeating 1 Corinthians 13:4 in English and Icelandic before dissolving into fuzz, and closes with the same passage read clearly, this time by a young girl. In between, Grant's depth and range are vividly present. "Voodoo Doll" is an ode to a depressed lover, drenched in bright synths and pulsing bass lines, while "Guess How I Know" is a bonafide hell-raiser, its snarling guitar licks layered with distortion as Grant sings about a toxic yet irresistible relationship. Title track "Grey Tickles, Black Pressure" blends swelling strings and choral harmonies with Grant's darkly biting humor, as he tackles his HIV diagnosis with equal parts confusion and clarity ("I'm supposed to believe that there's some guy who'll take the pain away / There are children who have cancer, and so all bets are off / 'Cause I can't compete with that").
‘Grey Tickles, Black Pressure’ follows 2013’s ‘Pale Green Ghosts,’ which earned Grant a Best International Male Solo Artist nomination at the 2014 BRITS alongside Eminem, Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars and Drake, and 2010’s ‘Queen of Denmark,’ named Mojo’s #1 Album of the Year. Rolling Stone calls Grant’s music “richly textured, both musically and emotionally” and NPR Music’s Bob Boilen says, “John Grant's songs don't mess around.” Grant recently performed with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra for BBC Radio 6 Music and just wrapped a North American tour with The Pixies. More dates TBA soon.