A hundred memories flood through you when Girl Ray start to play. The happier the surface of their songs appear to be, the more profound you feel when the sadness kicks in underneath it all. On their debut single ‘Trouble’, Girl Ray boldly and breathlessly introduced their sound as an essential voice in these modern times of love, life and physical disconnect. To give their music your attention for a split second, is enough to marvel at how excellently they have crafted their warm Nico-tinged pop.
The winsome melancholic embers of Girl Ray begin amongst the scattered brown brick rows of North London. They have been writing demos since their mid-teens about wanting to skateboard, how much they hate Mick Jagger and the school dinner ladies. Living only one street away from each other, best friends Poppy Hankin and Iris McConnell have been nurturing each other’s songwriting and musicianship for a number of years. However, it wasn’t until Harkin and McConnell were taking their A-levels, that they went in search for a bass player, and chose to invite Sophie Moss – on their Mum’s advice – to come and practice with them. Early shows at the Cavendish Arms and bedroom demos recorded by Hankin’s brother, were the first glimmers of light in the Girl Ray story.
At the end of 2015 it all changed when their cult bedroom demo ‘Ghosty’ arrived in the hands of Marc Riley. Girl Ray’s due diligence soared during a busy year in which touring was a staple and indie stalwarts Moshi Moshi, after seeing their heavy-hearted harmonies support Meilyr Jones at the MOTH Club, decided to sign them to the label. Dashing up and down the country, Girl Ray went on to support Slow Club, Haley Bonar and finally Ezra Furman. These tours gave them their first taste of long spirited road trips, traffic jams and nerves in front of large crowds they had to win over.