Charlotte singer/songwriter Grey Revell may be best-known these days for his YouTube sensation "Gone Gone," featured in a Hewlett-Packard TV ad that's swept across Latin America and Eastern Europe, creating a viral-like buzz everywhere, it seems, but here at home. Now, Revell is using his talents to help two young babies whose mother, a friend of Revell's, died during childbirth.
Recorded in Belmont, I Don't Leave Friends in Darkened Houses is a three-song digital EP highlighted by the Latin-tinged psych-folk title track. All of the album's proceeds between November 27 and January 6 will go directly to the Snyder Twins, Reverie and Jackson, both born healthy on November 25, but will sadly never get to meet their mother, Michal Friedman. Michal died hours after giving birth, due to complications from a C section.
"Michal was the first friend I made in New York," says Revell, who began his music career as part of the same antifolk scene in Lower Manhattan that spawned indie luminaries like Regina Spektor and the Moldy Peaches' Kimya Dawson, both old friends of Revell. He remembers breaking into the antifolk scene in the late '90s along with Michal and playing on stages with Spektor, Dawson and Paleface. "Michal performed as 'Michal the Girl,'" Revell says, noting his friend's powerful voice and personality. "Michal always wanted to be a mom. It's so sad she never got to see her kids."
Despite the vindication of Revell's recent solo success with "Gone Gone" - a full decade after its release on an antifolk compilation - the singer/songwriter says his most worthwhile work has been projects designed to serve others. This includes the distinctive writing, production and recording he's done with Paleface - another New York-to-Charlotte transplant - and Queen City musicians like Zoe Vette and Perry Fowler's Sinners & Saints. With his latest solo work, Revell continues to use his skills in the service of helping others.
You can purchase I Don't Leave Friends in Darkened Houses here.