Starting with a heartbeat, Terrified opens the debut album from Isaac Gracie, and what a statement it is to mark his place in the music world, “I’ve heard all the people calling my name. They never see how much I’ve changed. Now I’m terrified….” This is life, and music is a beat of it and there really is no need for him to be terrified.
Gracie’s name has been around a few times. He hasn’t been catapulted into the music world but very much nurtured. He has had the time to work on his writing and style and has now released a fine debut that is a testament to his music ability and no one else’s.
In the first five songs we are given a range of musicality from Gracie. From the opening heartfelt Terrified, straight into the country-folk feel of Last Words. Seriously, if you close your eyes, you can feel that piece of straw hanging from your lips as the sun sets over the fields. It has a catchy hook of a chorus that would definitely transfer great live as a sing-along.
We are then treated to Death Of You And I, the title-track of his 2017 EP, with a somewhat Latin flamenco feel, or so it seems until the chorus kicks in with a shout-fest! Is this how the breakdown of love feels, ”running into one another, you say you want to hide!” All the emotions are there in the almost five-minute sound piece. In fact it takes another turn around the three-minute mark. Be prepared to be surprised.
Running On Empty is almost Springsteen-like (and definitely no pun intended towards Boss-classic Born To Run). All the elements are there for this to be a mainstream hit. The chorus is memorable and almost has that beer-swigging-in-the-sun vibe. It’s catchy with its vibrant strums on the electric guitar and the lively beat of the drum.
After most of his musical meanderings, the remainder of the album is how most have come to know Gracie – stripped back and vulnerability open. His vocals shine with a bit of a quiver and we almost feel connected to him as a person and feel his pain of heartache. Maybe don’t listen to this album if you cannot deal with that pain, but then again do, as it is definitely an album of feeling. Maybe the best line to reflect this is with That Was Then, when he tells us that he is, “running now, so don’t you try to save me.” And it is quite ironic when he sings, “I don’t want to sing another song about the ways I got everything wrong,” as that is his strong element, reflected on the indie-folk tinged When You Go.
The complexity of Gracie’s vocals seems to shine most brightest on All In My Mind. With the slight choral opening and his shaky vocals, it is probably the strongest of the slower tracks and the electric guitar in the instrumental break gives it a bit more edge.
Gracie delivers an album that is very true of himself as an artist. He knows what works for him yet he knows he can break the boundaries, so that he is not labelled as a certain type of artist. To nail it with a debut album as good as this shows that there is more to Gracie than we think we know.