Bringing his first release to the table, Ray Hodge's Braveheart EP is able to introduce, entice listeners. The EP, set to release on October 28th, shows us the different musical ideas Ray has to offer. Ray himself being from Jamaica, Queens, brings a soulful performance to every track and yet still has impactful parts, giving great highs and sultry lows.
With a voice similar to Michael David Rosenberg ( Passenger), Ray definitely has that coffee shop tone that is supported by raw emotion. His music carries a message of knowing yourself, working hard and no matter how you feel, you are never alone.
Here is the EP stream of of Ray's Soundcloud!
After you take a listen to Braveheart, I think you'll be like the rest of us, putting it on repeat. Here is something Ray had to say about the EP, "Each song on the Braveheart EP has a theme of learning to overcome obstacles and to love yourself. Yes, they are inspired by situations that can be seen as sad, however are meant to leave you with hope and awakening that Warrior, King or Queen within you. When I wrote the songs that hope and faith was born from a place in me I thought was dead. All things must come to end but nothing truly dies, that's one thing I've learned in this process, it's an amazing feeling I'm excited to share."
Personally, there is something about every song that has me hooked, while each song is a different experience.
"I am King" is an amazing opener to the record, bringing me back to one of my favorite tracks, "Woods" by Bon Iver. "Voodoo" is a rocking song that smacks you right away and really shows off the instrumental side of this project. "If It's Easy" has that electronic pulse to it that is a beautiful mix of club music and layers of lush vocals.
"Stand Up" starts off by playing with the listeners ears, throwing sounds at us; gracefully going into a song with a great message. It also has this crazy synth bass that makes all the drops that much sweeter. "Fast Drive" has Ray belting almost the entire track and band really supports his sound well, especially the nasty guitar solo in the breakdown. Lastly the title track, "Braveheart," is my favorite, because it has all the qualities of the entire album, and a catchy hook to match. It does everything from fast to slow and high to low giving it a nice mix. The eclectic side of Ray Hodge shines here, reminding me of a song I would here on a television show, (hint hint: Shameless).
This record is insane and that is an understatement. As a Philadelphian, I could see myself hearing this on the radio, most likely on WXPN and Shazaming every one of these songs. Ray's message on top of musicality is a force to be reckon with.
Ray had more to say on this, "What I try to do differently than other artists is to make it about more than just the lights and glam, more than just a lyric or a good song. I create the land and the fans build the houses. In that, we make this place our place, where we become the Vibrations and electricity and in that form,we are one. We are not alone. I make it ok to release the happiness, sadness, or anger as we share it among each other in these moments we purify."
If you've already listened to the EP, Ray also released this video for the song "I am King."