Jack Grace shatters the meaning of genre..
Stand out Tracks: "if i tremble," "ALOHP," and "row me home"
Release Date: April 13th, 2018
Australian producer singer-songwriter Jack Grace is blending genres and testing melodies on his beautiful release If I Tremble. Beginning as a jazz pianist, Jack Grace channels his sonic wizardy never encapsulating himself into one genre. If I Tremble is Jack Grace's latest release following up to his 2016 project River that caught everyones attention pulling at every heartstring available. His latest EP is 7-tracks in length and is complete with Jamie xx type house tracks to the purest James Blake influence that'll leave you jaw-dropped and invested. It's not every day that a project takes you through the highs and lows of life bringing on every emotion with uncompromised ease. Jack Grace gifts us a little piece of himself artistically that should be nurtured every waking second.
If I Tremble starts and ends too soon with a total of 7-tracks that kicks off with the sample-filled intro to the project, "ALOHP." Bringing the soul of the old Kanye with reminents of Jamie XX featuring James Blake, Jack Grace layers his stunning vocals over some pure house production that'll bring down any stage. "Us" follows with a moody feel and the tension behind ever mentioning 'love' to your partner. It emulates the tension via the up-beat production from the first half of the EP that kicks off with a vibe for real. "waiting" continues the surreal blend of house and layering that keeps you hooked for the turbulent "BE4UGO." Jack Grace's production style keeps your heart beating, but at the same time soothes you in a way that is uncomfortable and contradictory. Grace finds the perfect balance that keeps your senses tingling moments after the track is over like on "downstate," which is the fifth track on the project that enables the transition to the softer cuts giving us more vocals and less production. The title track "if i tremble" is by far the most heart-wrenching 4 minutes off the project, introducing us to the peak of Jack Grace's honest songwriting that he demonstrates on every waking break throughout the project. The closing track is no different, "row me home" is another piano-led track that leaves it all on wax and the listener on the edge of their seat. If I Tremble demands attention in the same way an abstract painting demands interpretation; the easily understood doesn't carry the deeper meaning that the interpreted presents like Jack Grace's music.
Jack Grace offers just that, music to be interpreted and consumed via your emotions. His comparisons to James Blake seem spot on after finishing his album, which in turn present a bigger reason to dive into the process. We interviewed Jack Grace below, asking him some questions that came to mind after consuming his full project. More is yet to come from the Australian artist who sets the bar high with his latest release If I Tremble.
An Interview with Jack Grace
By Miguel B.
- What does this EP mean to you in comparison to what ‘River’ meant?
That's a hard question, I’ve got horrible short term memory and a lot of the time these things feel the same to me. I think the instinct is to just like what is the freshest thing you’ve done cause its shiny but I’ve been involved in enough projects now to realize that things move in a circular way more often then not and when you think you are moving fwd you aren’t.
- Your production style sounds like you intend on keeping your listener on the edge of their seat. What first made you want to test the limits of sound and melody?
I think hearing records like “a love surpreme” in my early teens didn’t help, but there’s also just countless artists that I love that have that mentality, I don’t ever think of it when I create cause its just what I like and what I’m drawn to. I never set out to make something difficult I just try and follow what I think works and not compromise on that.
- If I Tremble; where does this name for the project come from? Is it an emotion you want to evoke in the listener or one that inspires you?
There’s a hymn I used to sing as a kid with my grandparents that has a line “sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble” - the antidote to which was a deep faith in the culture. The title is me just posing an idea cause I feel like sometimes we still have the same/if not more problems but perhaps we have less answers.
- You blend many genres in your music. What is one genre that you still have yet to experiment with that you would like to implement into your music?
I’ve never really intentionally set out to do a “genre” as much as I just tried to do something thats honest to what I understand whilst always trying to draw on things without ripping off a sound and being disrespectful. Production is newer to me then songwriting is and sometimes I think it would be nice to bring on a producer and just focus on writing, that might be what I do for an album down the track.
- “ALOHP” is one hell of an intro to the EP. What made you want to open the EP with a much more upbeat electronica/trip hop type track and then slow it down from there?
It was a track that was finished around the time of the first ep (river) it was a polarising track among my friends who I was playing demos too and I changed my mind daily on it but in the end I put it there at the start cause for me it was a bridge between the last ep and this one.
- This is always cliché to ask, but who would be your ideal artist to work with next that could bring something unique to your sound. Would you ever consider a rapper feature?
I would love to make some tunes with Mike Dean or Shlomo, I think they are both genius producers and have made some of my favourite albums and yeah I love the idea of working with rappers, its been something I’ve thought about as well, I think those things need to happen naturally though so if the right person hits me up i would definitely be open.
- I read that from an early age you trained as a Jazz pianist. “If I Tremble” and “Row Me Home” are both piano led tracks and by far the most touching cuts off the EP. Was putting them as the closing tracks kind of a tribute to your early years playing Jazz?
Thank you - I don’t think that I would say they are tributes to early years as much as thats just the way I play piano, all the tracks bar the intro started as tunes on the piano and then they grew out of that. I think its the most natural thing for me to do and for me those two tracks mirror that for me.
-You are compared to artists such as James Blake, which must be very flattering, but I hear a lot of Bonobo and even Nick Murphy (fka Chet Faker) in your music as well. Bonobo is British while Nick Murphy is Australian; coming from similar worlds as you. Would you attribute the influence of where you’re from and your Jazz background for the intricacy in your music?
Yeah all those names are really nice and very flattering however I feel like my influences kind of go back further then them. Labels like R&S and Hessle Audio which released James Blakes early stuff have had an influence on me in my late teens and but the artists/genres that I feel really affected and formed my songwriting and sound come from the music I grew up on.
- I can see you are touring in Australia in June. Any chance you’ll be heading out to Canada anytime soon?
I really hope so, I like Canada definitely before the end of the year.
Thank you for your time Jack and beautiful work on your EP. Hope to see you around Vancouver soon
Thank you! And thanks for the support.