Behind the Song: VON GREY on “Dawn” – “We really wanted to create a song where we created a safe space.”
Artist: VON GREY
Album: In Bloom Acoustic EP
Released: July 13th, 2018
VON GREY an Atlanta-based pop trio that infuses classical instrumentation with dark synths and deep harmonies that construct cinematic imagery returned after a short hiatus ever since their 2017’s EP, Trinity.
Now, these classically trained sisters, Fiona, Annika, and Kathryn Von Grey are going back to their folk roots with their song “Dawn,” the most important track of their latest acoustic EP, In Bloom released on July 20th.
On this new body of work, the girls are reclaiming their destiny. “We recorded everything ourselves,” says Annika Von Grey adding, “We needed time away to realize and what we wanted and then we were so ready to get it when we came back.”
Annika Von Grey (Singer/ Songwriter/ Multi-Instrumentalist)
This song is obviously about the three of us loving each other and supporting each other, but also beyond that. Just being like, ‘Hey! There’s a space here that is safe for someone that identifies as any gender, specifically [someone] who feels like they have been made to feel unsafe or unworthy.’ We really wanted to create a song where we created a safe space. Even if it’s just through listening – that somebody out there is gonna feel some kind of support. That is really the bone of the song. That resonates in us in a really important way.
We really wanted to create a song where we created a safe space.
We are sisters. We have another sister that is not in the band, but there’s four of us and we spent most of our time with our mother growing up. Most of our world has been shaped by women and feeling unity and support from women. We’ve been surrounded by beauty in the music industry ever since we started. I think that in the industry and beyond there’s a kind of threat, that isn’t always verbalized and sometimes it is – that women feel going through their life. There’s a slightly different struggle and it changes for every woman and human beings in general. I think there is something special about feminine energy, and I think is also something that is targeted at kind of violent ways very frequently. Almost disturbingly frequently.
“Dawn” was great because we didn’t really write down and talked about we wanted it to be about. There wasn’t really a discussion. There wasn’t even one cataclysmic event where we were like, ‘This is the thing that we are gonna write about.’ Fiona and I started the song together and at the same time – we had come up with this melody that really touched us. We just enjoyed singing it. We loved it.
Writing it felt tender immediately and it felt gentle. We wrote this song way before we started the acoustic record. We were writing dance songs and dark gloomy shit all the time. Then we started writing this happy song. It’s not happy but pretty. I guess that is a better word for it. Like a gentle-tender song.
I think the subject matter came to the song rather than the song pursuing the subject matter. We sang it together without any words, and when I started to write it just kind of came up. It wasn’t planned or rehearsed. We have some songs where we are like, ‘We want to write about a specific thing.’ Most of that time its romantic shit like, ‘I’m mad at my partner!’ Something like that but still monumental. That’s when you are like, ‘I’m writing a song for you cause I’m mad’ or because ‘I love you,’ or something that is about an individual.
It was nice to have a song where we didn’t sit down being, ‘This is for you.’ It was more about writing it for ourselves and ended up being something that extended outside of ourselves so that’s good.