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GRAE Releases New EP Permanent Maniac (Review)

GRAE Releases New EP Permanent Maniac (Review)

Toronto feminist indie-pop artist GRAE is dropping her sophomore EP today – available on all major music platforms. GRAE was kind enough to send over an early listen, and here are my thoughts on GRAE’s new sophomore EP Permanent Maniac.

Euphony is the word of the day. GRAE’s new sophomore EP Permanent Maniac is full of beautiful examples of euphony. Euphony is a term used for words that sound pleasing to listen to because they sound beautiful by themselves or together. Permanent Maniac is lyrically beautiful on top of being instrumentally mesmerizing. It’s well worth a listen and even a permanent home in your playlist. 

The artist describes the EP’s title track Permanent Maniac as, 

“bringing together the best of today’s bedroom pop and yesterday’s psychedelic flair”

Toronto based singer-songwriter GRAE delivers empowering indie-leaning pop cuts with mystique, fierceness, and a DIY twist. GRAE started playing piano and guitar from a young age and grew up listening to Janet Jackson’s ‘Rhythm Nation’ on repeat, an artist whose powerful feminist pop persona inspires her own kinetically driven music. Her inspirations range from – The Cure, Prince, Janet Jackson, to Beabadoobee, Clairo, Benee, Girl In Red & Mxmoon. 

Let’s break it down like music nerds for a minute. 

The first song and title track is hands down the strongest on the album, in the traditional sense. It’s got a great hook and it’s the first great example of euphony in the works. Permanent Maniac isn’t just a great name for a song – and it is – it’s an absolutely beautiful sound when GRAE delivers the song’s chorus in that affected throaty voice of hers. It’s the kind of sound that gives you goosebumps the first time you hear it. The video for the track deserves a whole other article on its own, but who’s got that kind of time? The video is a stylistic throwback to the dancing in your teenage bedroom in the 90’s right down to compact disks, twinkle lights and the 4:3 aspect ratio. Check it out.

2725 is a great tune and another song where the lyrics and the feeling paint a beautiful picture. The song talks about meeting someone, maybe even falling in love with someone from the other side of the world through a screen. I’m not a big believer in long-distance relationships myself. I’m also not sure how I’d react if someone counted the actual miles to my bed from their house… Although that is just a simple google maps search nowadays. This song – like much of the album has a very chill vibe, but not one that excuses you from the urge to dance a little. This is the kind of song you want to spend Sunday morning listening to in bed with the right company. 

Ex-Lovers is the first time we get a look at the darker side of GRAE on this album. Don’t get me wrong it’s not a Rob Zombie song or anything – but there is a certain intensity to this song. You know that intensity you have when you think about someone who you loved, but maybe they fucked you over just a bit, yeath this song feels like that. Also, it’s a little sexy…

Speaking of sexy… Bang Bang might as well be a new James Bond song. Lyrically again complicated and simple – the words in this song sound instrumental on their own. I wasn’t going to bring Billie Eilish up in this review, because the comparison is sort of something you’re eventually going to come to on it’s own. If you listened to this song and I hadn’t brought that up yet you’d be like, “Dude? Really?”. I bring up Eilish because of the darker moments of anti-music in this song. The artist uses silence and very simple sound elements to get this song across, abruptly changing up the sound of the song. It’s simplicity is what’s making it beautiful, it also allows you to pick up on some nuances in the sound design – like the low drums and the occasional sound of a gun being loaded. The producer of this song is still missing…

Slow Down is the next track on the album and the artist brings us back to the light side of the force for this one. I’m digging on GRAE pretty hard over this album. The way this song is structured is a great example as to why. The timing is flawless and the artist works in that smooth chill sound back in here. GRAE has an awesome use of builds and cuts in this appropriately titled track.

Taxi is the last song on the album and unfortunately, it wasn’t sent in the preview link we got, but I’m confident that if it’s half as good as the other tracks on this album, Taxi is a pretty good track. Guess you’re going to have to take a listen for yourself!

Cover Art for Permanent Maniac

Since late 2019, GRAE has accumulated over 3 million streams across all platforms, has been on the cover of Spotify’s playlists indie pop & chill, Outliers & Introducing, won the SOCAN ‘Young Canadian Songwriters Award’. GRAE’s music is melodic and her lyrics are put together in a way that makes you think – damn, I wish I’d written that. I think we should be expecting so see some more great stuff from GRAE in the future if we’re lucky. 

For more information on GRAE visit: https://www.yourgirlgrae.com

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About The Author

Benjamin Gibson

Benjamin is a Graphic Designer and Creative Director in Toronto, Canada. He has worked on projects for Arkells, Broken Social Scene, and Paul Oakenfold. instagram: @ben_in_toronto

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