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James Gray releases ‘Sleepless’ from his Friends That Talk Like Old Friends album


James Gray brings us heartfelt stories and tales for a new dawn with his single “Sleepless” from his new album New Friends That Talk Like Old Friends, released late last year.

James is a traveling folk singer that spends half his years living in his cabin in Muskoka, ON in peaceful nature, composing music and allowing himself to breathe. The other half of his life takes him worldwide, including tours of Canada, Europe, and Australia, with more countries and continents on his roster. His natural fingerstyle guitar work and haunting vocals showcase his musical foundations in folk, Americana, and alt-country. There is a sad and honest sound that James brings us with his particular sound, and with this album, it’s easily recognized.

New Friends That Talk Like Old Friends came along in 2020 when the world stopped to consider its fate. It was through this quiet contemplation that James decided to get the world connected again with this third album. New Friends That Talk Like Old Friends is a collection of fables about people, for the people. His experiences on his travels and the wonderful folk he met along the way was the primary influence for this collection.

The songwriting process for this album was to lay the first guitars and vocals down in his cabin. If you listen closely, you can hear the sound of a wood-burning stove and birdsong.

“Sleepless” is the first single from this third album, and it’s typical of the James Gray color and sound. It opens with gentle acoustics and bell-like electrics and features Alyson McNamara on backing vocals.

Lyrically, James brings us a melancholic story—a tale of loneliness and internal conflict that hits us with the chorus of sadness.

It could be autobiographic, or it could be a tale from someone he met on his travels. Wherever the inspiration comes from, the lyrics will resonate with all of us sometime in our life.

Admiration for James’s music comes from far and wide. Suzie Ungerleider (Oh Susanna) said, “James Gray sings songs of poignant honesty with just enough grit in his voice to make you feel he has lived through the hard times and is here to tell you about it. His songs create a subtle yet striking landscape in your mind.”


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