Photo: Chiara Gambuto

Girl Ray peers into the past to create the neo-disco euphoria of “Everybody’s Saying That”

Inspired by the disco superstars of the ’70s, Girl Ray — the London-based project of musicians Poppy Hankin, Iris McConnell, and Sophie Moss — have shared “Everybody’s Saying That”, a standalone single produced by Hankin and Ben H. Allen (Deerhunter, Gnarls Barkley). The song sparkles and grooves like some outtake from Earth, Wind & Fire album or an obscure b-side from Chic that happened to find its way into the complicated musical landscape of 2023. Strings sweep across the horizon while voices are raised in harmony — it’s a perfect testament to the longevity of a genre long seen as overindulgent and ego-driven. 

The lyrics on this single were inspired by the straight-to-the-heart simplicity of the disco greats,” explains Hankin. “I wrote it while missing my partner while on tour in 2020, and it plays on themes of new love and self-doubt. Musically we took reference from the nu-disco resurgence that seemed to be taking off in 2020, in particular from the likes of Kylie Minogue (Disco), Jessie Ware (What’s Your Pleasure?), Dua Lipa (Future Nostalgia) and Róisín Murphy (Róisín Machine). We were really inspired by all of these women re-imagining disco.

The accompanying video, directed by Alice Harding, finds the band looking back to the glitzy atmospheres of Studio 54 and the unabashed joy that poured from that time and its music. “It was such a pleasure to direct this video for Girl Ray,” Harding says. “We forayed into the underground to a party harking back to the halcyon days of Studio 54 — in a boy-meets-boy story of love, lust, music and pure 70’s disco joy.

Hanking adds: “We met Alice, the director, while we were all working in a coffee truck on film sets over the pandemic. Alice is the special kind of person you can put total faith in and know she’ll make something amazing, so when she agreed to direct our video we were beyond excited. We wanted the video to have an emphasis on atmosphere and colour rather than narrative to fit in with the feel of the song, which Alice achieved wonderfully. Lyrically the song is about longing, and even though it was filmed in Slough, the video has pure Hollywood vibes thanks to a hugely talented cast and crew, and countless favours that Alice managed to pull in. We hope you enjoy it.

Watch the video below.

“Everybody’s Saying That” is out on Moshi Moshi. Keep up with the band on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.