This ‘Grace Potter’ article was written by Lauren Geary, a GIGsoup contributor
‘Midnight’ acts as the first solo release for Vermont-born Grace Potter who established herself as a US household name formerly acting as the frontwoman for Grace Potter and The Nocturnals; an American blues and country rock band whose musical credits include featuring on One Tree Hill, Brothers & Sisters and even in the closing credits of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, with whom she released five albums. However, fans of Potter’s back catalogue should enter with caution and an open mind as ‘Midnight’ sees her break free of The Nocturnals and into her own pop rock domain.
There is no denying that Potter’s voice is astonishing, and rightly so as the vocals act as the clear focal point of the album. She doesn’t hold back, and opening with the perfectly smashing ‘Hot To Touch’ she shows audiences just what to expect, along with gritty melodies and multi-tracked choruses, nifty middle eight guitar solo are also a consistent feature. Leading on from this, ‘Alive Tonight’ is the natural lead single of the album with its anthemic declarations “We are, we are, we are, alive tonight” and La-Roux style electropop builds.
The fast pace continues throughout the album as Potter demonstrates the more bluesy side of her vocal abilities on ‘Your Girl’ and ‘Empty Heart’ over atmospheric use of simple chords as she sings about unfaithful and failed relationships.
The rambunctious spirit pauses momentarily for ‘The Miner’ which sees Potter’s raw and soulful vocals once again take centre stage as she cries about heartbreak, however ‘Delirious’ once again lifts the mood, concluding with an encore of what seems to be Potter wailing, however it is one of the standout and most heartfelt moments of the album.
The rest of the album continues as so, though it is fair to say that Potter’s songwriting is far from prompting and cryptic. ‘Instigator’ acts as one of the heavier and bolder additions to the album, juxtaposing minimalistic electro inspired verses with punchy guitar and chant-heavy chorus’, and of course another middle eight solo.
By the time ‘Low’ comes around, the album has begun to wind down, and ‘Nobody’s Born with a Broken Heart’ tells a stripped back anecdotal tale of rare specificity, while closer ‘Let You Go’ drops guitars in favour of piano to create a track that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Sia album, and flawlessly showcases Potter’s exceptional range.
It’s true, ‘Midnight’ opens with its strongest tracks and doesn’t exactly propose anything hugely ground-breaking against what is already on offer in the pop rock market, however what it does offer is a playful and hooky collection of instantly likeable radio hits about late nights and fickle love that will snare you from beginning to end.
‘Midnight’ is released on 14th August via Hollywood Records.