Whether fortunately or unfortunately, sad songs tend to pour out of Canadian Country artist Parker Graye. Graye’s latest release, “Last Time” marks the closing of a trilogy which Graye penned during the various stages of a past romantic relationship falling apart. “Last Time” serves as the final salvo of the relationship between Graye and her ex. The ballad features just Graye, her piano and the palpable heartbreak in her voice. Graye’s tender vocal shines throughout this incredibly emotional ballad that is bound to leave many teary eyed and reminiscing about their own past heartbreaks.
Recently, we had the chance to chat with Graye about “Last Time”, the closing of this chapter, and what’s next for her.
Worlds Of Country: “Last time” came out on Friday! Is this the third part of the trilogy?
Parker: This is the third part of the trilogy that I talked about.. I’m super anxious, but also excited. It’s one of those things where this is one of the songs where I’ve been the most honest, the most vulnerable. And I really put as much real life into this song as possible. And it’s not that I didn’t like the others, but there was something just magically different about “Last Time”. It just felt more heavy and it felt more sad and I think probably because it’s like the ending of it all, like it’s the end of the story. It’s the closing of a chapter. It’s truly the breakup.
Worlds Of Country: When you wrote these three songs did you always sort of know that they went together?
Parker: No. I never wrote them with that in mind. So “Do Over” was written so early on in the relationship that was based off of a blip in and a specific moment in the relationship. And then “Before You Leave” was written way later when things started to kind of fall apart. And and I was just desperate to hear, like, I love you and I was desperate to feel and hear the things that I was craving in the relationship. And I never thought that those would be the first two songs I’d come out with. So it was interesting to them, like be landing on last time and being like, OK, we’re doing this. And I mean, “Last Time”wasn’t even supposed to be released. It was never a plan.
Worlds Of Country: So you said that “Last Time” wasn’t supposed to be released, What made you change your mind on that?
Parker: I really thought that “Last Time” was just going to sit in a folder on my computer after Luca and I wrote it. And it would just be that thing that, like, I really loved and I would cherish and I would keep it close to me. Then I was playing in a showcase in March, like right before the pandemic kind of popped off and everything shut down. And I put it in the set mostly because I just didn’t have enough songs at the time, which was bad. I have way more than enough for the last year, but as I started playing it, like there was something in my stomach that was like, this is a bad idea. Like it’s going to be a pretty hyped show. Like why bring it down with this sad ballad? And my guitarist was like, let’s just do like an electric guitar, kind of make it ethereal and just a vocal. I was like, OK, so I made a joke in the show. I don’t remember what exactly I said, but I was like, all right, “get your tissues out to make you cry”. And I just was like, so awkward about singing this sad song and it was so intimate and it was like pulling the crowd down that I was like, maybe if I make comedy, like it might make the difference. But then I played it and the room was silent. I was like completely split in half like either I’m doing an awful job and I really bummed everyone out or people are feeling it and it’s bringing up some emotions they thought they buried and forgotten about, and then after the show, people were like obviously tagging stuff on social and last time was the song that everybody, like, had put on social the most. And I was like. OK. This is weird, and everyone was like, when’s that one coming out? And I was like, never, like never.
I was so sensitive about the song and about who is going to produce it and what it would sound like that I almost thought about not doing it. And then I met Spencer and I explained the song and I explained sonically what I wanted it to feel like and sound like. And he was like, yeah, let’s do this. And I had talked to a couple of producers before him and nothing ever landed, it just didn’t feel right. And with him, it just truly felt right. And then I went into studio and we tracked for two days and I cried on nearly every take and every playback. I was like over the console, like, OK, just so cathartic.
Worlds Of Country: What’s the story behind “Last Time”?
Parker: The guy I talked about in “Do Over” and “Before You Leave” had made some promises that he couldn’t keep which led to somebody else informing me that he’d been speaking to them and that crushed me because I thought this was the guy I thought this was the dude that I was going to move to his hometown and get married/ This is the dude I thought that was my forever, because we came in and out of each other’s lives so often that I was like, the universe is definitely doing this for a reason. Like I’m supposed to be with him and I need to, like, trudge through and fight for the relationship. And I guess the reason why it happened is because of these songs. I
Some of the dishonesty that was going on and I had asked if this was the “Last Time”. And unfortunately, it wasn’t the last time, which was the messages from other people, but it’s really a song about loss and it’s about losing something that you thought you had and it’s about losing something that meant so much to you and being caught off guard by the betrayal and the dishonesty. Like it’s one thing to imagine it, but this was like it’s not real. All of it is going to hell in a handbasket. So it’s about that and it’s about wishing things could be different, but at the core of it, it’s truly about loss. I hope that it just reaches the people that are kind of going through something similar or have lost something over the last year. You know, or are dealing with the struggles of their own version of a last time as I hope this song gets to them and heals them and helps them, because it’s definitely for me and it’s my own song, which sounds weird and is mildly obvious. But at the same time, I still listen to it and I’m like, whoa, I’m catapulted back to that moment of when everything was over and how it ended and what happened in the weeks and months prior and the weeks and months after. And it still hurts, but it still manages to remind me and heal me in ways that I didn’t think possible. So it’s a pretty special thing, It’s sad, I hope you love it.
Worlds Of Country: So is there any fear with sort of making yourself put in so much of yourself out there and being so vulnerable on the phone with us?
Parker: Oh, yeah. I mean, like I said earlier, this was the first song that was super emotional from the first session to playing it on stage to recording it. I’ve been probably the most vulnerable and the most honest and the most speaking my truth about what I really felt, and it’s scary telling this story and even to a degree I carry his level of guilt, of sharing the story so openly because there is a guy that this is all about. This is pretty crazy, like I’m talking to you about this guy and all these songs around him and he knows, he knows they’re all about him. And you get scared about judgment and you get scared about people just thinking, you’re the crazy girl and you. What did you do to deserve that kind of stupid stuff? But I think it’s more just like that. There’s a little bit of inner turmoil and fear about sharing some of your deepest, darkest secrets but I also think that whenever that starts to creep in and I’m like, this is really scary, I think about the best music, like the music that I love the most that I listen to over and over and over again is exactly that. It’s people’s real emotions, their deepest, darkest secrets, the stuff that hurts.
Worlds Of Country: Have you heard from the guy since you started putting out these songs about him?
Parker: Yes, yes, of course. They never go away. This one I actually played for him on piano the last time we saw each other and it was when I’d just written it, he had come back to the city to pick up some things and visit some friends. And we met up to just like put it in a box and shut it down. I played it awfully because I was just bawling my brains out over top of my keyboard, but I would be very interested for him to hear it now, because now it’s done and there’s so much more behind it now than there was before. But we don’t really talk like we’re not we’re not homies. We’re not, like, hanging out, sharing stories by any means. But he’s moved on. He’s got a girlfriend, is doing his thing, Yeah, it’s weird, it’s super weird. Writing songs about your exes and releasing them years later, it’s weird, but I love it. So what other trouble am I going to get into next?
Worlds Of Country: Got to choose your next adventure!
Parker: Yeah, exactly! Who wants to break my heart next? Any volunteers?