Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Grace Potter Goes Introspective Yet Universal for First Solo Album

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Grace Potter Goes Introspective Yet Universal for First Solo Album

Article excerpt

On her debut solo album, singer Grace Potter ditched metaphorical and observational lyrics to delve deep into her own life experiences. "It was really cathartic," Potter said of writing and recording "Midnight."

"I'm going through the biggest transitional phase I've ever been in as an adult," Potter said by phone. "It's amazing to see that manifest itself in the music. This is my new adventure. I'm delving more into my own experiences."

"Midnight" was released in August. Best-known for her work with her band, the Nocturnals, she initially planned her new songs for a Grace Potter and the Nocturnals album. But her introspective lyrics and experimentation with dance-pop beats didn't fit with the Nocturnals' more straight-ahead rock.

"I spent two or three months making demos and sent them to the band and they said, 'This doesn't sound anything like the Nocturnals,' " Potter said. "There are a lot of different and new dynamics."

She added that while her new material is personal, it also carries universal messages about love, heartache and other emotions. "I want anyone who turns it on, whether they know who I am or not, to be able to connect to the message, to connect to the sounds, connect to the hooks," she said.

Potter's blues-tinged vocals are both restrained and uninhibited throughout "Midnight," pulsating with a vibrancy that reflects her passionate stage performances. She also plays guitar, piano and organ on the album.

"Midnight's" emotional pinnacle, "Let You Go," is about the recent death of someone very close to Potter and her family. "It changed the way I look at life and death," she said. "I've always been a musical messenger, and it became one of the most personal experiences I've ever had making music."

On "Low," she writes about trying to provide support for a down- and-out partner. "That's one of my favorites on the album," Potter said. "It's that wildly romantic ideal that you don't have to go through life alone."

There are also soul numbers like "Your Girl" and rousing tracks like "Nobody's Born With a Broken Heart" and the dance-pop of "Delirious" and "Alive Tonight," the latter of which was inspired by a storm approaching Potter's Vermont home. …

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