Gracie & The Valley - Chrysanthemum - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Gracie & The Valley - Chrysanthemum

by Ljubinko Zivkovic Rating:8 Release Date:2018-11-16
Gracie & The Valley - Chrysanthemum
Gracie & The Valley - Chrysanthemum

Nashville and romance - that used to be a combination that was sure to produce a pile of kitschy country music. That trend hasn’t changed much, but then Nashville itself wasn’t immune to change.

Gracie & The Valley, or essentially Grace Bates and her band and her (their) debut album, Chrysanthemum, is just one more confirmation of the changing winds blowing down Nashville streets. And that includes the country and romance combination. With their debut the romance might be the factor that remains - Bates, who wrote and provides lead vocals on all tracks, follows a romance journey from a beginning to end through the album’s nine songs.

What she does away with as far as her lyrical approach is the corny, kitschy side of a pulp romance novel. It is a bit hard to find lines like “It shouldn’t take so long to believe in my intuition / I always think I’m wrong unless there’s a little ammunition.” (“Good Riddance”) in one of those.

But more importantly, it is those winds of change that can be heard in Gracie & The Valley's music, where the country, or more precisely the folk element is present (“Doorbell Dixie”), but all the pop/rock (“Did I Stutter”) that has been recently filtering through from the world’s ‘country capital’ gets some very interesting results, like in “Embers”, one of the best tunes of the album.

Of course, it is not a hard thing to find great musicians in Nashville, Bates certainly did, but even then to carry things through and come up with a meaningful set of songs you need good compositions that have their musical head and tail and certainly a great singing voice, which Grace Bates certainly has.

I don’t know whether you want to call the music on Chrysanthemum Americana, folk/pop or whatever, but it certainly deserves more than just a cursory listen.

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