"The last couple of records I've made, and the touring... I feel like I've done some of the stuff I've always wanted to do and ticked a lot of boxes now," the British troubadour tells Billboard.com. "So rather than just repeat myself, I'm at a point where I'm asking, 'Why should this thing, the next thing, exist? What's it going to have that's different?' It's a reductive process, and that can be a little difficult, not just for me but for all musicians. You just get fed up with your own schtick, your own way, your style, the default setting. You have to look for something else."
Gray adds that he's "in no great hurry to complete another great sort of section of work and go rushing back out there." But he also feels that "there's a few little glimmer of lights that are starting to appear down the dark tunnel. I get a sense something may be coming together." And the result, he says, may even be two albums rather than one.
"I've got some big songs that I'm really trying to tweak into some new shape, but I've also got the really quiet, really quite poetic songs that will pick up where 'Foundling' left off," Gray reveals. "It feels like almost two records trying to happen simultaneously." The latter, he says, includes "quite a few songs with birds as titles -- there's one called 'Gulls,' one called 'White Owl,' 'Birds of the High Arctic,' so there's a theme running through it. But it's early days yet; you can't make two albums at once, so I've got to set (the quiet songs) to one side and come back to them when I've concluded the heavy work."