David Gray Shows Softer Side on 'Foundling'
Redferns

The "quieter moments" of the sessions for David Gray's 2009 album "Draw the Line" are yielding "Foundling," the British singer-songwriter's ninth studio album, just 11 months later.

"It was recorded during the same session...when we weren't tracking as a band," Gray tells Billboard.com about the 11-song set, which comes out Aug. 17 and is also packaged with a bonus disc featuring eight more songs. "I would do stuff on my own, and it was at times like that when some of these songs came together, so ['Foundling'] is almost like the solo record I made in-between making the band record."

Gray says there was no clear delineation between the two albums' songs initially. "The first six months or so of recording all the stuff was just one big, great, amorphous heap of music, but after a certain point I decided there would be two different records. Some songs could've crossed over and been part of either record, but by and large 'Foundling' has its own mood and identity. The basic bottom line of 'Founding' is understatement, really; we were just trying to hit it as softly as we possibly could on a lot of these songs."

Ironically, "Foundling" has a single, "A Moment Changes Everything" from the bonus disc, that's already making some noise -- much to Gray's consternation.

"I don't have fond feelings for it," Gray confesses. "I was contacted about doing some music for a [soccer] tournament a few years ago, and this was my stab on it based on the brief I was given. Unfortunately it got used on the telly and then people heard of it, and when anybody thinks there's any chance of a hit record at radio they just won't let go of the damn thing. So it got let out of the cupboard, and it's ended up on this bonus disc...It's just one of those throwaway moments that other people seize upon. But it doesn't really fit with 'Foundling,' which is very much where my heart lies."

Nevertheless, Gray is looking forward to giving "Foundling" a bit of an airing when he hits the road with Ray LaMontagne on Aug. 15 for 22 shows. "I just think it's going to be a real high after a lot of time working on ['Draw the Line' and 'Foundling']," Gray says. "This is sort of the payoff, playing big venues and big crowds. I'm just expecting it to be fun." But, Gray adds, he also plans to do "something different" in the future for "Foundling."

"I see this as the closing chapter for 'Draw the Line,' and I think 'Foundling' needs to be presented in a different way," he explains. "I'll come back after a breather with a few shows to present ['Foundling'] some time next year. I'll take stock and put a different scenario together, a completely different type of band and presentation, something smaller and more acoustic and more woody and organic."