With the release of her EP Guidelines, Gracie Hays bring a new feel to a fusing of genres. Lush with a soulful vocal style, an acoustic back bone, and an alternative pop edge, the record boasts the aesthetic of indie pop anthems. Though the songs are diverse from one another, there is a glue that holds it all together much like a concept album would. Most importantly, the record never loses sight of the emotional platform great songs are built on.
The first single, “Mr. Bossman”, is an immediately addictive folk pop classic. Complete with driving percussion, a very straight forward lyrical approach, and a powerful chorus, the song seems to breathe and build as it plays on.
“This song is about realizing you’re working too hard doing something your heart isn’t necessarily in, and the decision about whether or not you should change that. It’s easy to stay in a safe place where you’re comfortable, and it’s difficult to take a risk. However, sometimes a risk is exactly what you need. Sometimes you have to put yourself in an uncomfortable situation to get the most out of life. There’s no reward without risk! In this song and the others from this album, I want to truly relate to my listeners. I’m talking about things that anyone can understand and feel connected with. Everyone’s been unhappy with a job or where they are in life, everyone’s been in love, ” explains the songwriter.
Although the single does speak volumes for the EP, to get a real understanding of where Hays is coming from, it should be heard in its entirety.
“I think putting together an album really makes you focus in on what you want your sound to be. When you sit down and write a song on a guitar and just sing with it, it’s hard to imagine it as a fully produced song with a full band, effects, and all that jazz… but when you start to record, and in my case self-produce, you form a vision of exactly what you want it to be. It’s an amazing process to watch something so basic evolve into something so polished and fully-formed. This process has not only evolved my sound for the EP, but also my sound for songs and albums to come,” said Hays as she talked about the EP and recording process.
At the age of only 15 years old, songwriter Gracie Hays knew she wanted to have a career in music. She would later spend years focusing on writing and music technology at Berklee College of Music. Performing her original music for the first time in Valencia Spain, Hays quickly realized pursuing a career as a solo artist was indeed what she wanted. Throughout the course of that semester, she put together a live band to perform her songs live with her and had those same members record the EP with her. The Guidelines EP is a perfect example of where Hays is now as a performer and songwriter.
Having won awards like the Daniel Pearl Memorial Violin award, and opening for Blake Shelton, along with being selected to perform at several venues in Valencia Spain for showcases like The Berklee Lago Concert Series, Gracie Hays is certainly not new to spreading the music through live performance.
The Guidlines EP is now available now for streaming and downloads on most major outlets, and Gracie is always working on new material for upcoming releases.
To learn more and stay connected with Gracie Hays, please visit: http://www.graciehaysmusic.com