A self-described “spiritual pop record for the iPhone generation”, Plastic Material sees Kim Gray delving deeper into their own psyche, exploring themes antithetical to their dreamy sound. Along with this self-assessment, they have also embarked on a journey of sonic exploration. The first album the band has recorded digitally, Plastic Material allowed the band to experiment with sound and techniques in a way that wasn't possible before, giving Kim Gray a freedom they have never experienced.
Lead singer Trevor Gray worked as a research assistant while recording the album, spending time interviewing Vancouver's homeless population, all the while thinking deeply on love, death, social anxiety. This dichotomy helped produce a personal but universal exploration of what it means to exist, online and off, in 2019.
In confronting their own vulnerabilities and ego, Kim Gray have produced their most honest and human record to date. Recorded and mixed in different rooms in Vancouver over several months, the majority was captured by Jay Arner at his home in Vancouver.
Releasing music since 2014, Kim Gray have grown up online. Every move the band, and its members, have made has been tracked and documented online, voluntarily. They are acutely aware of their own existence. On tracks like "Eugene Vampire", an existential crisis displayed in a soft shell, they deal explicitly with the futility of social media. An affected saxophone croons sadly in the background while lead singer Trevor Gray laments the ways in which we frame and edit our lives to appear successful to others.
"Holiday" takes another aim at the internet, calling out those who use the internet to commit sordid deeds, as "Hand In Glove" speaks to the importance of letting your freak-flag fly. "Table For Two" and "Handful Of Problems" are love-songs dedicated to that special someone who can help moments of stress dissipate in a second, while album-closer "Living On Credit" sees Kim Gray questioning their decisions with regards to their own ego, wondering when their dependence on credit and debt will, if ever, end.
With drawling vocals, reverb-soaked guitars, synthesisers and drumpads, Kim Gray consider all aspects of the human condition. Plastic Material is an extremely introspective record, dealing with life, technology, love and loss, all while lulling you into a sense of safety and security.