Only a few bars into this Gretta Ray track its magic begins to comes alive. It’s not easy to write a captivating 5-minute pop song, especially if you’re 18. But, Melbourne high school student Gretta Ray doesn’t seem to have any trouble at all. She is the latest winner of Triple J’s Unearthed High competition and “Drive” is the reason why. Glossing over the line between singer-songwriter and pop siren, she uses the song to establish a welcoming warmth in a traversing melody with her silky but powerful vocals. Her voice reaches impressive highs and dips into lows in a poetic stream of love-lorn lyrics. The instrumentation beneath the contorting melody is appropriately simple, pairing in gradually building layers alongside the propulsive melody. Golden, crisp, and intriguing, “Drive” is the kind of tune that jumpstarts a career. Like any good pop song, it won’t leave your head. Gretta Ray’s natural ear for pop songwriting is obvious and that promise is sure to only build from this impressive beginning.
Listen to other highlights from this year’s competition here.