Brooklyn-based artist Atoosa Grey is back and better than ever with her first album in a decade, Dear Darkness. The singer, songwriter, and poet first honed her craft in New York City, traveling from venue to venue, sharing her beautiful voice with the city. Atoosa took ten years off from music, however, to focus on her poetry. On Dear Darkness, Atoosa Grey’s first album in a decade, the songwriter and poet explores a dialogue of fearless confrontation. “There’s a lot to learn from the unseen,” the Brooklyn-based artist acknowledges, “and this collection of songs is themed around that concept.” As a pianist first, Atoosa made sure that Dear Darkness featured a lot of somber piano parts riddled with folk, rock, and blues influences. The album starts out with two beautifully simple tracks, “It Takes Time,” and “She Belongs.” These two songs are very different, yet they are the perfect introduction to the album. As “It Takes Time” explores the feelings involved in a rocky breakup while mesmerizing piano and cello accompany Atoosa’s soaring vocals, “She Belongs” delves into similar feelings with more of a minor melody, as a dark drum beat is introduced. Directly after these two tracks, “Night Drags On” introduces the more Carole King-esque vibe that multi-talented Atoosa is also capable of.
The 8-track album is a true testament to Atoosa’s love of poetry. Her lyrics are enticing, relatable, and create a wonderful sense of imagery and intimacy with her listeners. She explains that she started writing this record during a time when she was starting to feel not herself. “In telling the truth, these songs gave me hope and freedom. The dark can transform, heal, and toughen us; and ultimately struggle can be a source of much richness in our lives.” The last track on the album, “Chapters”, is a ballad with poetic lyrics reminiscent of Mitski, and an underscoring that perfectly wraps up the project — including piano, slide guitar, and a LOT of reverb (which we love). The album was co-produced by Atoosa and her husband, music industry veteran Noel Grey. Joining Atoosa and Noel in the studio is gifted engineer Sascha von Oertzen. The musicians featured on the album include longtime guitarist James Mastro (Ian Hunter Band, Mott The Hoople), bassist Todd Sickafoose (Anais Mitchell, Ani DiFranco), percussionist Mathias Kunzli (Regina Spektor), cellist Dave Eggar (Esperanza Spalding, Frank Ocean), and Oboist/English Horn player Katie Scheele (Frank Ocean, Anthony Braxton). Dear Darkness was mastered by Grammy-winning engineer Emily Lazar. Listening to Dear Darkness is an amazing way to spend these rainy April days. It’s definitely worth a listen or twenty. You can connect with Atoosa Grey via the following links: