By Alessandro Improta
So technically, this isn’t a review of a Provo artist anymore, but we are just too proud of what Claire Grayson has done here in Provo to not still claim her even though she moved to Seattle long ago. In her “Neu” project, Grayson partners up with Huntington Filson through the magic of craigslist to form electro-pop duo Neu Yeuth (read more about Neu Yeuth here). Together, they recently released a self-titled three song EP with the help of the Provo locals at Bone Shack.
The first track on the EP, “Make a Move” is equal parts groovy and reflective. Filson does a fantastic job producing a beat that isn’t repetitive or gets stale. Repetitiveness is often my personal issue with electronic music. Filson could have very easily fallen into this trap, but he avoids it by implementing new elements as the song progresses. The lyrics are honest and relatable. In the chorus, the object of the song is questioned about their romantic past, “Why won’t you make a move? Did somebody burn you?” The second verse contains my favorite bit lyrically in the entire EP. They sing about not being able to let this person go even though this person may not be moving things along: “I’m so lost here. What if you’re the only one who can take this smoking gun out of my hands? I don’t want to use it, but I may lose it.” The fear of this person being the only person for them keeps them there, waiting, even though they may be stagnant. This is beautifully articulated.
In “Empire” they seem to get sick of waiting. They wanted it so bad, but they couldn’t take it anymore. Filson has a great line that describes how the waiting made him feel: “My anticipation builds an empire, and that’s where I’ve been living for a while.” Awesome imagery. This song has much more bite to it than “Make a Move,” but it isn’t angry. They seem to be setting themselves free as they let go of the object of their affection. This song’s chorus is fantastic. The verse has a halftime feel, but when the song kicks into the chorus, the kick drum goes from halftime to a pumping four on the floor feel that really drives the chorus. Along with the great melody, this effect makes the chorus feel way more energetic than the rest of the song without getting unnecessarily bigger. Again, Filson shows his ability to put together a great electronic track that is just as interesting as it is musical.
The third and final track, “Oh Lover,” is probably the weakest track on the EP, which I think says more about how solid this EP is than it does about how weak the track is. There are two reasons that I think this song is weaker than the others. First, the motif established is played throughout 80% of the song and it gets a little old by the end of the track. They actually do a great job of moving the motif to different “instruments” to keep it more interesting, but unlike the other tracks, this one does seem to feel repetitive. Secondly, the lyrics are a little difficult to understand in the chorus especially. I’m not sure if this is a performance issue, or a mix issue, but it is definitely a shame because their lyrics are very strong. All that being said, those are pretty nit-picky things. It is a good song, and it seemed to get better with every listen.
This is a very strong debut release. It is obvious that Grayson and Filson both have been doing this for a while. Filson is impressive in his electronic arrangements, and does a great job vocally as well when he is called upon. Even though this is very different from other projects Grayson has worked on, there is one common thread throughout all of them, and it is the honesty in her delivery. I’ve always been surprised by her ability to portray herself and her emotions through music. Provo definitely misses her, but no matter where life takes her, we will always claim her as our own.
Make sure to like Neu Yeuth on Facebook, and check out “Make A Move” below!