By Maryjane Perez | 22 March 2023
After attending the virtual press conference hosted by 1824, I was immediately enthralled by Grace Gardner’s artistry. Gardner has impressive talent and a knack for creating an immersive audio experience through the way she strings together words and instruments in her music. Though music has always been an essential part of her being, she is only recently delving into the world of music on a more professional level. And as a self-producing artist with an overflowing passion and love for her craft, there is no doubt that Gardner’s career will flourish over the next few years. Her debut EP Peach is proof.
Released on March 3, 2023, the EP consists of four songs that bring listeners into a world of unrequited love and heartache. Gardner doesn’t shy away from even the most vulnerable feelings, offering them in her music in a uniquely honest way.
The first track, “Deny Me,” sets the tone for what’s to come, offering a feeling of desperation and longing for the possibility of love. Aside from the strings and harmonies used, this song lacks any dramatic instrumentals, allowing Gardner’s delicate vocals to shine: “I’ll keep singing love songs about you / At my shows ‘til the message gets / Through.”
This yearning is as torturous to Gardner as it is for listeners as she goes on to sing “I hope you turn me down / Because my hopes are higher than they've ever been.” It seems she is well aware of her suffering but still holds on to hope—she can’t give it up unless directly denied the love she craves.
Track two, “Parcel,” offers an angry twist to the yearning in the previous song. Gardner’s voice remains soft, but is now accompanied by drums and layered guitars, providing all the angst. “I don’t want to talk to you anymore / I’ll be waiting like a parcel at your door.”
There are signs of frustration—yet she still confesses that she’ll wait around because the love is still there.
On the third track, “Acrobatics,” Gardner offers a track that falls somewhere between the melancholy of “Deny Me” and angst of “Parcel.” The song offers an almost hypnotically soothing beat and guitar, her vocals delivered slightly less airy than before: “A part of me’s infuriated / You dared to reach out.”
Mixed with the hurt and anger, Gardner finds herself stuck wanting the attention and love from a person it didn’t work out with: “I still save room for you / I always do.”
Fully in the thick of emotions, Gardner reels listeners in with one last song. “Designated Driver” is arguably the saddest song on the EP. It tells a story that remains true to the theme of the other tracks, but it pertains to friendship rather than romance. There is a subtle use of guitar, seemingly Gardner’s go-to instrument, and gentle harmonies as she sings, “I don’t think I’ll ever get clean / You left a dent in my passenger seat.”
Friendships offer the most innocent form of love, so being ripped apart from a best friend definitely leaves a deep wound.
Peach leaves listeners feeling raw and exposed, but that is the beauty of it. Gardner’s ability to be so open and captivating allows music to have its intended impact: connectivity.
Be sure to stream the Peach on Spotify and keep up on social media @gracegardnermusic.