Artist of the Week (29/08/16) – Jack Grace

Each week VH Music picks out a new artist you should definitely be checking out. This week, Cayle explains why you should be checking out Australian Singer/Producer Jack Grace.

Jack Grace (of you-almost-certainly-haven’t-heard-of-him-yet fame), already has that mysterious nomadic air of a Jai Paul, a Jay Electronica – thrillingly, almost unfairly talented, yet deliberately obscure. On the basis of the two wildly promising, wildly unusual songs Jack Grace has already released, ‘Hills’ (a collaboration with the wonderful Buoy) and the hot-off-the-press ‘All Lost’, we must hope he displays more of the former quality than the latter – it’s rare to hear something you’ve never heard before, in such an accomplished, spine-tinglingly beautiful kind of way, but here we are. Or, even better, here is Grace.

His latest, second single, ‘All Lost’, is a cornucopia of different textures, different influences, driven by keys and mournful lyrics – and probably countless genre elements I didn’t catch. Of his own performance, Grace walks a delicate tightrope of angsty and brooding (‘If it seems like I don’t care – it’s cause I love you‘) and the uplifting, the enigmatically joyous (‘Please be happy‘). The song will resonate to anyone that has ever experienced the thornier, much hush-hushed side of what it means to love someone, and also what it means to love yourself. Grace talks about the dark place he was in after touring that lead to the creation of this song. He also mentions the release it provided him, and you really feel that sense of growth and catharsis within the depths of this honest record.

Grace knows the intricacies of his voice enough to tailor his crisp production so closely to it they enter a state of symbiosis – hard to imagine one without the other. On his collaboration with Buoy, a combination that is hopefully exploited further on his upcoming EP, his beats are broken, erratic, with little half-caught whispers of samples. The way he plays with keys, it’s becoming clear, is always worth watching out for. You never really know where these songs are going to go, but you’re never disappointed with the choice. To go back to the really rather excellent ‘All Lost’, Grace builds to this totally off-kilter switch-up within a song that is already totally off kilter – and it shines uniquely for doing so. I can try to describe it in all its glory and still come short. Find out for yourself.

He is sure to be known, in this honeymoon period, as a textbook-burning revolutionary, a genre-melding extraordinaire, serving as an opportunity for music writers to (predictably) flex their music knowledge and genre-listing skills. While his talent for wrangling alien influences into one beautiful, cohesive whole is attention grabbing, it is not all that he is – to focus on that solely is to miss out on the soon-to-emerge greater picture. Admittedly, we don’t fully know what that is yet, but in a way, that makes it all the more exciting – half of the fun is the journey there. For now, we have an idea, a glimmer-in-the-mist of what we might be in for: in the purest terms, an artist that has something he needs to say, the outright balls to say it, and the ability to gift it to us in a way we may have never heard before.

‘Hills’ and ‘All Lost’ are due to be released on Jack Grace’s October EP, both of which you can currently support on iTunes. Catch the wave.

 

Follow Jack Grace:

@jackgrace_legit on Twitter

Jackgraceofficial on Facebook