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Live Review: Introducing the familiar voice of GRAACE with her solo debut 'Kissing Boys'

15 May 2018 | 10:25 am | Kyle Fensom

You might recognise the name GRAACE from Hayden James' 'Numb', but now she's introducing herself to the world with her debut solo single, 'Kissing Boys'.

If the name GRAACE looks familiar to you, it might be that you recognise it from her vocal work on Hayden James’ 2017 hit ‘Numb’, or maybe because you’ve caught one of her cameos on Flight Facilties’ current ‘Return Flight’ national tour. Now, GRAACE (the artistic moniker of 21 year-old Sydney artist GRACE PITTS) looks ready to introduce herself to the world properly with her debut solo single, ‘Kissing Boys’, giving her voice a platform of its own to shine over.

‘Kissing Boys’ uses the framework of a traditional piano-pop ballad, and then twists it around some clever, vibrant, modern production. Lyrically, the track mirrors this stylistic trojan-horse act too; it’s sparkling veneer and lyrics about using others as an antidote for GRAACE’s own heartbreak masking the sadness and loneliness at the core of the track, delivered in the very next line: “I’ve been busy kissing boys / And I’ve been treating them like toys / When all I really wanted is you / I close my eyes and fool myself.

Of everything we’ve heard from GRAACE so far, from ‘Numb’ to now ‘Kissing Boys’, the through-line is her voice, an object that’s tough-but-tender in a way that makes it feel just at home over a piano ballad as it does over James’ synth-soaked electro-pop. It’s tough in a way that means it can naturally match the scale of the booming drums and swelling synths of the track’s soaring climax. But at the same time, its inherent tenderness and emotionality allows it to exist in its own right separate from the instrumental, reaching that euphoric melancholy that distinguishes the best pop music, but that often falls flat when the vocals feel overawed. On 'Kissing Boys', GRAACE's voice sounds anything but overawed. 

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IMAGE: Supplied