The Gravity Drive: the Wildlight 

(Alchemistic Bliss)

CD out now / Other formats 21 Aug 2020

9/10

Second album, five years in the making by harmony-driven crafted pop duo, creating ‘‘the sound of light in the dark’. Ged Babey listens from the shadows. 

As I’ve said before I like the Gravity Drive despite myself (the fact it eats away at any punk-rock street-cred I might have left. They make light, accessible, easy-listening pop, so aren’t strictly my bag, maan)  I like their independence from the London-centric Biz, the fact that BBC Radio 2 love them (and are play-listing some decent homegrown talent) and their old-fashioned star-quality and almost evangelical positivity.  Plus of course the great hooks, melodies and harmonies in their songs.

I likened them initially to ‘a cross between the Verve and the Lighthouse Family jamming with Morcheeba’ but with each track they’ve released over the past four years they have ‘veered into Killers-style Stadium Alt-Rock territory whilst keeping their harmonic edge’ and reminded me of ‘Mercury Revs Deserter’s songs being played by Tears For Fears!’   They are impossible to hate, because they’re just so inoffensive.  They have that kind of charm that people who are always smiling have. Y’know people who seem self-contained and happy all-the-time.  And you want to know their ‘secret’.

The Gravity Drive have a slick professionalism but a soulful feel about their music and an inbuilt positive vibe (which I put down to being) born out of Ava and Elijah Wolfs relationship. Not only as husband & wife soulmates but as an artistic songwriting team who are truly independent as a business which makes commercial art.

The three most striking songs on the Wildlight are the ones which have been released as single tracks: Kaleidoscope, Wake of the Dawn and the title track.  – A slow-building epic and a classy piece of melody, harmony and crescendo. Piano-led with lush strings and a host-of-heavenly angels backing… An irresistible bit of mainstream alternative pop with great soaring vocals and “an orchestra of echoplex guitar, otherworldly strings and synths”… and – The Wildlight has a Doors-y feel to start, and a touch of Gimme Shelter about the guitar…respectively.

There are two other accomplished exquisite pop songs on the album – Hits Like A Fix and What Is Love?  The former is a slow, sensuous, drifty thing with a touch of Satie and dash of chilled-out Bond theme.  The latter, a  ba-ba-baba-ba lounge-core number with self-analytical lyricism.

Some of the rest of the album is…. not to my taste. A bit too bland. But this is an album for Radio 2 Listeners, MOR/ AOR consumers who want crafted, soulful pop with a bit of class and content on their drivetime commutes.

Reassuring escapist pop music with a positive drive – when what appeals to me is the negative drive of (insert examples here) –  The Gravity Drive are a low-key triumph of making commercial art with huge mainstream potential yet still having a depth, built on the love-story of a relationship, where their hopes, fears and self-motivational beliefs make them want to communicate in the only way they know how. Music for Lovers, dreamers and believers in a better future.

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All words by Ged Babey

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