Among The Grey, Cheyenne Mize’s third studio release, is at once confident, passionate and melodic. The Louisville, Kentucky native’s capable vocals drive forward the momentum of the album with aplomb and purpose without losing an intimate sense of lyrical elegance in the process. The songs on the album reflect a journey, a sort of wandering down a dusty path as the promise of a storm lingers in the air and flashes of light pulse. Mize navigates this musical landscape by the glow of these grey skies.
Recorded with co-producer Kevin Ratterman (My Morning Jacket, Andrew Bird) at a church in Louisville, Mize and the musicians with whom she recorded took advantage of the unique environment in which to capture her sonic sensibilities. The sanctuary, the gym and even the basement were utilized. In addition to local players, Among The Grey includes JC Denison on drums and percussion, Emily Hagihara on bass, percussion and backing vocals, and Drew English on guitar. Former touring partner Ben Sollee added cello to the mix.
The title track opens the album and posits, “How can you be so close to something / So bright, so bright.” With the aid of shimmering guitars reminiscent of a late ‘90s sound, she later asserts “We live among the shades of grey.” On song “As It Comes,” frustration and resignation collide with acceptance. With the swagger of Sheryl Crow, Mize suggests “Take it as it is or go home / Take it as it comes and go.”
“Heart Hole” is a starkly honest testament to desire, while “Wait For It” deliciously describes a state of frozen anticipation, the space in between the awareness of love and its fulfillment. On “Raymaker,” Mize’s breathy yet clear vocals are infused with lush sweetness as she sings “You’ve got a way / Got a way of making me believe.” By crafting a distinct and diverse musical palette on Among The Grey, it is clear that Cheyenne Mize is an artist whose time has come.