So it’s been a hell of a year, right? Around this time of year you tend to get lots of wistful analysis of what’s happened, but I think this year has beaten a lot of competition out of the way to become arguably the most trying in living memory. Certainly my living memory, which amounts to a smidge over a quarter of a century.

Nevertheless, - and as we’ve noticed a number of others doing - we’re going to look to the future. Look to the dawning of the light. This week, that beacon of hope is specifically our new merch for Moshi Moshi signees Girl Ray.

I think we all have people we can trust when we ask about music. When I asked those I trust about Girl Ray, one of the comments that stuck with me was, “They’re real.” I guess what made it stick was being surrounded by so much uncertainty as to what was real anymore. Is this real life now? Are we living in a simulation, hacked by the adolescent sibling of its twisted creator? Can I have my old life back?

I don’t think my friend meant they were “real” in a street sense, but I immediately understood the difficult-to-qualify assertion. There’s a fine line between what Girl Ray are striving for (and achieving, it should be mentioned) and what a lesser band would end up with. I think what separates them, what acts as that divide, is sincerity. The sincerity in ‘Trouble’ is almost a part of the tracking process, you can feel it, woven into the negative space around the restrained performances of Sophie, Poppy and Iris.Welcome in, Girl Ray, we’re happy to have you around.