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Birmingham, Alabama, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | INDIE

Birmingham, Alabama, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Rock Shoegaze




"Wray – “Hypatia” Video (Stereogum Premiere)"

Hypatia, a Greek philosopher and mathematician, was murdered in Egypt by a mob of fanatical Christian monks in 415 AD. Being one of history’s first female scholars and also an avowed paganist, her symbol as a genius and contrarian thinker has inspired artists and authors throughout time. Director Dawn Carol Garcia, who’s formerly made videos for Destroyer, is now adding her piece to the legacy by centering WRAY’s new phantasmagoric video around the ever-enigmatic Hypatia. Throughout the colorful montage of Egyptian symbols and cutesy scenes (one includes an adorable puppy), a woman learns about Hypatia on television and makes out with her in a lucid dream. It’s the first video and title track from Wray’s upcoming sophomore LP, Hypatia, which will be dropped in early 2016. Watch below. - Stereogum

"Wray shares new song “May 23rd” — listen"

Birmingham, Alabama outfit Wray may consider themselves shoegaze, but they have roots in grimier scenes. The band members all got their start playing punk clubs with acts like Last Flight In, Comrade, and Nightmare Waterfall. Eventually, they turned over their snotty riffs for reverb and hazy vocals, embracing swooning melodies and layers of fuzz. The trio first showcased this new side of themselves on last year’s self-titled debut, and are now set to release their sophomore album, Hypatia, early next year via Communicating Vessels. Ahead of the release, they’ve shared a sprinting new single called “May 23rd”.

Churning guitars spur the track on as they repeat mechanical rhythms with bending notes flourishing overtop. The vocals sound like a distant whisper, giving the song a familiar grounding for genre fans. Drums pummel to match the intensity of the distortion, even as the vocals cruise high and the guitars swirl upwards in unexpected lightness. It’s quintessential shoegaze with the trio clearly demonstrating they’ve mastered the model set by their forebearers. - Consequence Of Sound

"Premiere: WRAY - "Bad Heart""

Sometimes you have to go backwards to go forwards.

So when Wray decided to go home to Birmingham, Alabama to focus on new material, the group knew exactly what they were doing.

Out there desert rock, this is a music scorched by the sun. Loosely falling into that garage-pysch peg, Wray owe more to the lysergic experimentations of Can or Neu! With their rhythmic gyrations soaring out towards the horizon.

‘Bad Heart’ is rough hewn, furiously hallucinogenic rock ‘n’ roll. Backed by some gnarly visuals – two motorbikes hurtling across a sandy plain – this is a must see.

Check it out now. - CLASH Magazine

"Marching Bands, Kierkegaard and Other Musical Influences"


A wash of distortion, a motorik beat, an impassive and nearly drowned-out vocal: These are the essential building blocks for Wray, a three-piece band pursuing its own extrapolation of shoegaze, surf-punk and lo-fi garage-rock. On its self-titled debut album, due out Tuesday on Communicating Vessels, most of the tunes work their way into ruts, finding something trancelike in the process. “May 15,” the album’s centerpiece, does this best, but there are analogous moments on “Apacheria,” the sturdy lead single, and “Relative,” the closing track. The band’s members — David Brown on bass and vocals, David Swatzell on guitar and vocals and Blake Wimberly on drums — hail from Birmingham, Ala., though they sound about as rooted in downtown Los Angeles, the Thames Valley of England and the Bushwick section of Brooklyn. That blurriness is no coincidence, but let’s grant for now that it’s more than a pose. - New York Times

"WRAY - 8/10"

Excellent dreamy debut from Alabama trio. With their shimmering melodic intensities set neatly against David Swatzell's impassive vocals, WRAY are a tantalizing prospect. Although they dwell close to the world of shoe gazing and flirt with Krautrock and even a sort of nervously upbeat goth, there's also a Stone Roses-like flush to songs like "Swells" or "Graved" which come bathed in fuzz but holding the melody and rocking along at a proper lick. And despite the dreamy vibe of tracks like "May 15" the drawling centerpiece, this is an impressively tight, focused album which on the superb "Bad Heart" recalls War On Drugs at their majestic best. - UNCUT (Print - February 2015 Issue)

"Wray Get Lunar-Gazey In ‘Blood Moon’ Video"

Unless you got up pretty damn early, you probably missed the blood moon this morning. Fortunately, Birmingham, AL, three piece Wray have got you covered. While I’m pretty sure their new video for “Blood Moon”, isn’t exactly, you know, “scientifically accurate”, it plays off the imagery, and the mystery, of the lunar eclipse.

“Blood Moon starts as suggestion, moves towards a sense of wonder, and succumbs to realism,” the band’s David Brown explains of the Paul Cordes Wilm-directed clip. “The weighted guitars, rowing drums and sheen vocals create a feeling of inevitability. The lyrical content of the song plays with this concept. Some things end just when they begin.”

The blistering/blissful track comes from their recent self-titled LP available on Communicating Vessels. They’ll perform as part of CMJ at Lit Lounge in New York on October 22. - Bullett


Alabama three-piece's eponymous debut is a short but sweet indie-rock treat. Hailing from Birmingham, Alabama, birth place of Sun Ra and the spiritual home of Southern rock, WRAY eschew any obvious hometown influences in favour of a sound that marries fast-flowing Krautrock grooves with muzzy post-punk and shoegaze melodies. While drummer Blake WImberley locks down the driving motorik beats, Davids Brown and Swatzell ride the rhythms with their own Jetstream haze of guitars and voices that bears fleeting comparison with the likes of Interpol, Quickspace, Secret Machines, and Ride. Reaching an apex with May 15's extended monochord repetition, elsewhere the misty delirium of Blood Moon, the pulsing surge of Apacheria and Relative's wistful fuzz toned flurries prove that although they're debut album might be over in less time than some singles there's still a whole lot to like about it. - MOJO (In Print - March 2015 Newsstand Edition)


There are few better feelings than finding a song that appeals to different aspects of your pliable musical palate. Wray’s “Relative” is the middle ground you've probably been searching for—the track that breaks down barriers when it comes to genre bias.

“Relative” folds dream pop into shoegaze and noise rock, separating tides of aggressive cymbal clashing from calming, lo-fi vocals. It’s a unique mélange of genres, melding beach rock breeziness with the type of driving, slowly evolving aesthetic that marked bands like My Bloody Valentine.

The musical variety is a reminder that not all shoegaze bands are created equal. It’s a satisfying change of pace.

Luckily, Wray will be dropping a self-titled album full of more multifaceted sonic goodies on July 15. The band is also currently on tour, handing out positive vibes in the summer heat. Go and check them out, and listen to the track above. - Noisey / VICE

"WRAY Share Spacey “Apacheria” Video; Announce Tour with Man Or Astro-Man?"

An apt pairing if ever there was one, Birmingham, Alabama stargazers WRAY are set to hit the road with longtime interplanetary voyagers Man Or Astro-Man? next month, on a tour that will last well into the early part of the fall. The two acts are wonderfully complementary: where MOAM favor roaring, surf-derived sonic nervous breakdowns, WRAY are woozier and more majestic, with gently-gliding vocal melodies and a steadily-chugging rhythm that owes more to krautrock than it does punk or garage.

All of that is evident in the video for “Apacheria,” from the group’s forthcoming self-titled release, out July 15 on the Communicating Vessels label. The band’s three members are shrouded in near-darkness, bathed occasionally in soft purple light, or the kind of strange neon patterns that appear on the ceilings of planetariums. Get lost in the mystery below, and check below the video for a full list of tour dates. - Wondering Sound


Treading closely to the polyglot sonic territory that DIIV explored on their impressive debut in 2012, Wray have released a very promising single from their forthcoming eponymous debut album. “Relative” conjurs an elongated gloomy corridor with semi-illuminated corners. The pretty guitar work drones on down a satisfyingly repetitive path, always lurching forward, adding distortion and the prerequisite sorta-intelligible shoegazey vocals. I hear many of the reference points, but not in an on-the-nose way, which is why I am excited to delve further into the Birmingham-based band’s sound when they release their album on July 15 via Communicating Vessels.

But speaking of reference points, there is something about the introduction to this gauzy dreampop/shoegaze/kraut track that really reminds me of element from No Age’s “Brain Burner”, the theme song from Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, and Wu Lyf’s “We Bros.” Perhaps that eerie/vague feeling of familiarity is something they will flesh out. We shall see!

Check out “Relative” below, and definitely let us know what you think in the comments below and on twitter at Nerdist Music! - Nerdist

"WRAY – “Apacheria” Music Video"

Strong newcomers, Alabama natives, and party ready shoegazers, the band Wray recently released their first music video. The video, for the first single off of their debut self-titled album premiered on Wondering Sound. In “Apacheria” the band is “shrouded in near-darkness, bathed occasionally in soft purple light, or the kind of strange neon patterns that appear on the ceilings of planetariums.” It is only a preview of what is to come on their summer tour with Man or Astro-man? and their debut, which is out July 15th via Communicating Vessels. - Static Magazine (CHAD CONNOLLY)

"Preview: Bleached, Hunters, Nightmare Boyzzz, Wray at Bottletree Cafe"

The opening band, Wray, is a brand new project from prolific Birmingham musicians David Swatzell (The Grenadines , Mt. St. Mtn.), Blake Wimberly (Ferocious Bubbles, Nightmare Waterfall), and David Brown (The Tuffs, Eat My Shorts). They played their first live show at the very packed back bar at Parkside Cafe on April 6th, 2013. Guitar saturated, hazy noise pop (at one point I was reminded of the Yo La Tengo track “Sugarcube”) I think they’ll quickly gain a spot among Birmingham’s respected indie bands. - You Hear This (Jennifer Freehling)


Wray - Wray - US Release July 15, 2014 / UK Release January 27, 2015

Wray - Hypatia - US/UK Release January 15, 2016



Wray is one of those rare bands that effortlessly blend smart sonic pluralities into a seamless whole without losing any of their DIY grit. Based out of Birmingham, Alabama, the trio-- comprised of lead singer/bass player David Brown, guitarist David Swatzell, and drummer Blake Wimberly-- have a shared history that reaches back over a decade in the Birmingham music scene. Expectations for this compelling act continue to grow with the groundswell of support and patronage they've received since they first made their debut in 2013. Having received accolades from everyone from The New York Times to MOJO-- alongside appearances on MTVu and Daytrotter-- their penchant for adventurous music-making will pay big dividends in the years to come.

Following 2014’s self-titled debut on Communicating Vessels, Wray has spent the better part of the past year developing the ideas and sonic palette that would become their sophomore LP Hypatia. Through experimentation and a robust full length band, Wray has finally come into its own as a distinct entity. 

“We were trying to make a more cohesive record this go around. We weren’t sure until the last week of mixing how well we’d gotten to that point! We did fall into a mood with this album.” -- David Brown. 

Co-produced by the band with Lynn Bridges (Jack Oblivian, Devendra Banhart, Dan Sartain) and mixed by Daniel Farris (Man or Astroman?, St. Vincent, Azure Ray), Hypatia takes its own path from swift energy to quiet contemplation while exploring a space of subtle contrasts and originality. 

“A lot of the tracks you hear on the album are first takes. Lynn Bridges is all about that, the first take and the first time if you can. And that’s really cool, because a lot of the time, you can get the feel right from that first take.” -- David Swatzell

Brown, the band’s lyricist, singles out the title track as a particular favorite, explaining its meaning as an example of how he approaches songs as a whole: “A lot of times my lyrical inspiration comes from documentaries or listening to science podcasts. Hypatia, she was a 4th Century scientist/ philosopher/ mathematician. [Hypatia was esteemed by contemporaries for her notable intellect, and was reported to have been killed at the hands of a religious mob in Alexandria, Egypt.] Meanwhile, a lot of the lyrics I write also have romantic undertones, similar to New Wave and postpunk bands as well.”

From standout tracks like the surging rhythmic workout of “May 23rd," to the back-and-forth college rock/guitar crescendo overdrive of “Shiva," the group's triangulated presence is in full force, offering a glimpse into the forward-thinking minds of one of Birmingham's best and brightest bands. Combined with decidedly uptempo numbers like the rollicking "Giant" and their inverted take on Faust's krautrock classic "Jennifer"-- Hypatia has set the bar exceedingly high for progressive music coming out of the Deep South. 

Hypatia is now available on vinyl, cd, and digital formats-- complete with brilliantly conceived album art by New Zealand-born/New York-based Tamaryn, and Shaun Durkan, from San Francisco’s Weekend --and WRAY is busy with supporting tours.

Band Members