Single Review: Isaac Gracie – Terrified

By on Tuesday, 24th May 2016 at 12:00 pm
 

West London singer/songwriter Isaac Gracie released his debut EP ‘Songs from My Bedroom’ at the end of March, just after his appearance at SXSW 2016. Gracie impressed me in Austin with the tender vulnerability of his singing voice and the insightful emotional honesty of his song lyrics. As you might expect, songs like Gracie’s are most effectively presented in their raw acoustic form, and that is exactly the presentation Gracie has arranged for them on ‘Songs from My Bedroom’.

The EP’s lead track ‘Terrified’ was released as a single on the 13th of May on Virgin EMI, and it epitomises the overall sound of ‘Songs from My Bedroom’. The lo-fi recording (which actually took place in Gracie’s bedroom, according to the man himself in my interview with him at SXSW) results in a warm but distant quality, almost as if Gracie were singing to himself. His sweet voice is backed at first only by a single guitar, and the slight warble in his tone only emphasises the stark melancholy of his opening lines, “well, I sleep all day / drink all night / just give me one reason / and I’ll turn off my light”.

The song expands with the addition of backing vocals as it moves into the refrain, and Gracie displays the full strength of his own lead vocal in its opening line “I don’t wanna be your boy, I wanna be a man” before he executes a graceful decrescendo into the key lyric “I’m terrified that maybe I wasn’t cut out for this”. The recording style emphasises simplicity and spontaneous musicality over technical precision, and as a result there are a few rough vocal moments in the performance. But rather than distracting from the overall mood or effect, these only serve to enhance the genuine emotional quality of the song.

8.5/10

The five-song tracklisting for the UK version of ‘Songs from My Bedroom’ contains ‘Terrified’, along with ‘Hollow Crown’, ‘We’re So Very Lost’, ‘All The Burning Lovers’ and ‘Darkness Of The Day’. The American version has only four songs, starting with Gracie’s early single ‘Last Words’ and includes ‘Terrified’, ‘Hollow Crown’ and ‘Darkness of the Day’. Both are available now on Buried Crowns / Virgin EMI.

Isaac Gracie is scheduled to appear at the Dot to Dot Festival in Manchester, Bristol and Nottingham over the upcoming second May bank holiday weekend. He has just announced an American tour for June, after which he’ll return to the UK for more festival appearances at Barn on the Farm, Latitude, and Reading and Leeds. You can find a full listing of Isaac Gracie’s upcoming live dates on his official Facebook. TGTF’s previous coverage of Isaac Gracie is back this way.

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

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TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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