Delyn Grey Cuts Loose on “Set Me Free”

By Deuce

The defining moment of “Set Me Free”, the latest single and video from Toronto’s Delyn Grey, comes about a minute or so into the cut. It’s wedged between a deliberately deceptive guitar solo on a pair of tracks—quiet, gently stirring, and reflective, almost—and an uproarious hook that upends any such pretensions.

The moment arrives at the outset of the second verse when the live drums fully express themselves with a deep pocket, resounding snare, and an authority that transforms the song which, previously, was a bevy of things—none quite as compulsory as this part.

With the drums giving due emphasis to the torment the singer voices about some circumstances (perhaps a lucky young man?) that have somehow got her “shackled”, the music truly comes to life. The bass pulsates in a sturdy, dependable pattern. The guitars—one of which functions like a rhythm guitar while the other adorns it with a pretty melody—continue to evoke emotion as Grey’s powerful vocals cut through the track.

All respect is due to the musicians who facilitate this passage and the rest of the tune. Those include Kyle Texiera on the bass and Moog, Chris Macfarlane on the foregoing stringed instruments, and Jeremy Kleyhans’ superior efforts on percussion, drums, etc. That second verse, however, is as accessible as any of the work Grey has released, and has the definite potential to expand her audience to something resembling the mainstream.

In fact, the way the tune opens up, it almost sounds like a contemporary rhythm and blues effort. As previously mentioned, Macfarlane sets the stage with those attractive guitars, and something about the singer’s melody and the bass line that follows sounds like urban contemporary. The only hint that it’s not is the texture of the drums during the first verse, which are totally different than those of the second, sound programmed, and are certainly creative in their ambition.

All such deliberate song structure, arrangements, and reserve go somewhere far away, however, during the chorus, which is much more traditional rock than anything else. The pace increases, the bass switches, and Grey truly gives vent to her full range of vocals, demanding release from something which must’ve truly been way too powerful to keep her and her quality of singing in check.   

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