David Gray sails away once more with A Tight Ship, the second track taken from his forthcoming album Gold In A Brass Age.

“This was by far the toughest track to get right,” reveals Gray. “It has a quirky chord structure that keeps changing key and I’m singing in an almost Marvin Gaye falsetto, which is in no way comfortable for me,” he adds.

“For ages I had the opening couplet ‘The better then, to know myself/Fear be damned, let love be wealth’. Beyond that, I was stuck.

“The song has a lovely lightness that means the lyrics couldn’t be heavy-footed. The line that unlocked it was ‘To dance like no one sees’. That’s the pay-off.”

With its softer, sweeter, more intimate vocal, A Tight Ship showcases the more intuitive approach Gray used across his 11th LP. Lyrics are now more reminiscent of poetry; songs have been arranged with a “cut and paste” technique; and the piano-and-acoustic-guitar sound expanded by new sound textures, and innovative production techniques from producer Ben de Vries (son of Marius de Vries, whose credits include Madonna, U2, and Gray himself).

Gray’s first album in four years, taking its title from the Raymond Carver short story Blackbird Pie, will be released on 8th March 2019, coinciding with 17 headline shows across the UK and Ireland.

David Gray tour dates

15th March: St David’s Hall, Cardiff
16th March: Corn Exchange, Cambridge
17th March: Royal Festival Hall, London
19th March: Dome, Brighton
20th March: Cliffs Pavilion, Southend
22nd March: Bridgewater Hall, Manchester
23rd March: Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham
24th March: Gateshead, Gateshead
26th March: Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool
27th March: Pavilion Theatre, Bournemouth
29th March: Symphony Hall, Birmingham
30th March: Barbican, York
31st March: Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow
2nd April: Waterfront, Belfast
4th April: Royal Theatre, Castlebar
5th April: Bord Gais Theatre, Dublin
6th April: Bord Gais Theatre, Dublin