Name: Adam Bernard Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome. See my complete profile
Atlanta-based sister trio Von Grey perform a brand of pop that’s dark, but have a future that’s decidedly bright.
The classically trained trio of Annika (lead vocals, violin, synth, banjo), Kathryn (cello, Moog bass pedals, mandolin), and Fiona (lead vocals, guitar, violin, synth, percussion) (photographed L to R) had a show last week at Mercury Lounge in NYC, and after listening to their recorded work I was excited to check them out.
It didn’t take long to realize Von Grey is the type of group you tell everyone about after you see them live, and I’m looking forward to being in the crowd again the next time they hit the city. Here’s why …
1. Their dark pop meets folk style is captivating
The Von Grey trio are young – if my math serves me right, the eldest in the group is 22 – but they’ve been honing their craft for quite some time. The sisters formed the group back in 2013, and they’ve made significant developments in their sound along the way. Always having one foot in dark pop, and recently having experimented with mixing it with electronic music, the trio have now unplugged, and gone as acoustic as possible, giving their dark pop a slight folk influence.
Von Grey’s lyrics, and masterful use of stringed instruments, keep everything under the dark pop umbrella – during their set they joked that melodramatic is their forte – and when they’re on stage you can’t help but be completely locked in to their performance. There’s something about their combination of classical instruments, fantastic harmonies, and dark pop mixed with a dash of folk, that makes Von Grey a real attention grabber.
Speaking of which …
2. They’ll hook you right from the start
One of the biggest challenges for any indie artist is finding a way to grab the attention of the people who are having a few drinks, and engaging in conversation, while waiting for a different act to go on stage. Those are the people every band wants to make snap their heads around, and say, “Whoa, what’s this going on?”
Von Grey did a fantastic job of stopping conversations, and turning heads, when they opened their set with a medley/mash up of Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m On Fire,” and Dolly Parton’s “Jolene.” Those are two songs you might not normally associate with each other, but the trio did an amazing job of seamlessly switching between the two using their own unique arrangement.
After that, all eyes, and ears, were on them.
3. They’re highly engaging both on and off the stage
Whether it’s their on stage banter – oftentimes led by Annika, who has a speaking voice that’s like something out of an AM radio programmer’s dream – or the way they interact with fans after the show, there’s a real genuineness about Von Grey.
When they speak, they have interesting/funny things to say, and they truly seem to enjoy all the post-show conversations, hugs, and photos (case in point, this pic of me with the band).
Obviously, their audience will eventually reach a size where the trio might not have the time for every conversation, hug, and photo, so you should probably catch Von Grey sooner rather than later. Actually, catch them sooner, and then catch them again later. You’ll want to see them more than once.
To find out when, and where, Von Grey will be performing next, check out their Facebook page for show dates.