Gregory Paul
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Gregory Paul

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The best kept secret in music


"awake from the flash"

Gregory Paul’s story is probably similar to a thousand other musicians in this country. The Rochester, NY native wants nothing more than to play music, and he’s been working at it for 20 years now, performing with one band or another and developing a strong solo career at the same time. He became well respected in his small city and toured regularly on the college circuit. He’s even had music used in the last Winter Olympic television broadcast from his band the Autumndivers. In short, he’s talented and hard working, but widespread recognition has been slow and sporadic.

I’ve seen Paul play in Rochester a handful of times, but only recently have I come to fully appreciate the depth of this artist’s talents. It was probably the Autumndivers’ latest modern rock take on a shoegaze sensibility of their self-titled 2004 album that sold me, and that was buoyed by some absolutely astounding solo shows as well as Paul’s addition to local favorites Hinkley.

While Paul has always mixed some use of guitar and vocal effects into his music, past solo efforts have leaned toward the Elliott Smith singer/songwriter approach. While those songs were good, Paul shows off a completely unique approach on Awake from the Flash, combining elements of folk, singer/songwriter, psychedelic, shoegaze, and experimentalism, while never losing his pop foundation. At the heart of his music is his acoustic guitar, with which he uses a variety of effects. It makes for a grandiose album of sweeping guitars, gorgeous vocals, and emotional beauty that I never expected.

Paul’s versatile Jeff Buckley-esque vocals especially shine on “I Still Feel,” a gorgeous song that also showed up on the Autumndivers’ album in a different version. One of the most powerful tracks on the album is “A Walking Fire,” which has a “Battle of Evermore” (Led Zeppelin) style intro but quickly overwhelms with its gorgeous vocals and guitars. The singer/songwriter side of Paul comes through on tracks like “Lost Diamond” quiet, acoustic-guitar led with haunting strings in the background, and the quietly moody “Silly Dream.” And “Diver and Child” would fit nicely into the new folk movement highlighted by bands like Devendra Banhart. By contract, other tracks are more experimental, like the swirling “Burn Fast Burn Bright,” which uses some nice vocal effects, looping, and sampling of sounds.

It’s remarkable that Gregory Paul is able to recreate the effect-laden approach on stage as well as on album, and a couple of shows accompanied by a violinist floored me with their beauty. While Paul has been appreciated on a local scale, I can only hope that a strong solo album like Awake from the Flash helps his music reach an even broader audience. - delusions of adequacy

"album review"

"what a way to start an album. an ambient build-up that seems to shake your nerves, creeping and crawling its way into your body and brain like a slithering snake. gregory paul, the frontman for new york’s stellar indie pop band autumdivers, whom i gave big props to when i reviewed their self-titled album, shows his skills as a solo artist. paintings of musical tapestries and pin-ups of melodic pop arm the album with a soundscape unlike any other, proving that we as humans have only begun to experience our musical potential. experimental pop-rock with psychedelic undertones that coast through melodies and harmonies like a speed boat, “awake from the flash” could potentially be the singer/songwriter album of the year. get this album now!" - j-sin [] -

"gregory paul"

"this new york upstater must be a studio rat. this is his fourth lp (two are with the band autumdivers) of making an acoustic guitar expand and shimmer into multicolor soundscape, to back and bolster his confident voice (which bears minor resemblance to radiohead's thom yorke). an expert picker (see the 10-minute soft monster title track) he is equally adept at banjo, keyboards, and violin; anything to create a neo-symphonic climate for his soft-croon to swan dive into. very, very, transporting" - big takeover - big takeover


The Sea Is Rough - 2000
Anon - 2001,
Spirit and Decibels - 2002,
Autumdivers - 2004,
Awake From the Flash - 2005


Feeling a bit camera shy


"I have discovered that it is enough when a single note is beautifully played" - Arvo Part.

In addition to fronting New York’s cosmic American rock band, the Autumdivers, Gregory Paul has an evolving solo career, as evidenced in his new solo release “Awake From the Flash”. With the album, Paul aims to push the boundaries of experimentation with a multi-genre palette of acid folk, American roots, dream pop and improvisation among others. The title song "Awake From the Flash" is an experiment in epic form. Paul combines elements of song writing and story telling along with improvisation, finger picking and ambient music. Paul went back through five years of journals to assemble words merging a stream of consciousness lyric that runs along and correlates with the current of sound. "I think there's an element of truth and sincerity that's revealed in that process, no matter what the art form.” said Paul while working on the new album, “I sort of let this build and guide itself, and I think there's something to be said about following your intuition.” Other highlights from the album include a stinging version of “A Walking Fire,” a beautiful stripped down rendition of the Autumdivers’ “I Still Feel” and the collaborative work on "Diver and Child" of violinist Lisa Toth and lyricist Brenna Doran. Gregory Paul has released four albums to date, including two with the Autumdivers, and has toured extensively throughout the US.