- 07 Dec 20
18-year-old Rachel Grace has built up an impressive live profile – performing at festival and venues around the country, and supporting the likes of Wallis Bird, Brian Deady, Don Mescal and Paddy Casey.
Rising star Rachel Grace first burst onto the scene at the tender age of 13, with the release of her debut album Song For You. Following the release of her acclaimed EP Routes in 2018, she released her latest single 'Cry Me An Ocean' in October.
Despite claiming to be more nervous doing online gigs than in-person shows, Rachel seemed effortlessly at ease throughout her live set last night and delivered a soulful performance filled with blues tracks and love songs. Beginning with 'Quite Like You', Grace showed off her incredibly strong and captivating vocal range, possessing a deeper tone reminiscent of Paloma Faith paired with gorgeous falsetto notes. The acoustic pop ballad is littered with memorable lyrics, such as "I keep my insecurities right in the pocket of my jeans", bringing a frank honesty and vulnerability to her words. Her next track, 'Games For Two', is about a one-sided relationship of all giving and no receiving.
Relatable themes and mature tropes are part of the track, despite Grace mentioning that the songs aren't about her personally. Her storytelling prowess for seeing the tales of those around her and creating music from the inspiration is stark for someone of such a young age. "Love is a game for two / And I can't play alone," is the simple mantra of 'Games For Two', with references to a painful attempt to move on in vain. Her next track, 'Rough Patch', harks to constant arguments, blame and 'an eye for an eye' state of mind in a dysfunctional and ultimately doomed relationship. Despite knowing that the connection has an expiration date, the pair within the song continue to dig a hole anyway. Creating characters within the tracks, Grace's stunning vocals can seemingly hit any note. Another heartbreak number, this time addressing the subject of infidelity, comes next from the young singer. 'Nice Knowin' Ya' is a more uptempo, blues track with a catchy melody.
Grace later plays her recent Four-Star Pizza competition winner - 'Home' - next, an honest song about finding somebody you're comfortable with before finishing off with the dreamy romance track 'Nancy'. The final song is especially poignant, given that it was written about her great great grandfather's love for his future wife. As a member of showbands, he was on the road constantly but his heart remained in Wexford. "My life's a stage, tonight's a show / The lights blind me, but I still see you clearly in my dreams," she sings. Confessional yet delicate in tone, Rachel Grace's talent for weaving a narrative through beautiful vocals is potentially her strongest trait. We can't wait to see what 2021 brings for the rising artist after she released her previous batch of music in 2018.
Watch Rachel Grace's full Y&E Series performance below:
Ahead of tomorrow's final Y&E performance of the series, you can also catch Rebecca McRedmond on the Y&E Series tonight, December 7!
Watch Eiza Murphy on Tuesday, December 8, as part of the Hot Press Lockdown Sessions' The Y&E Series, supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media – live on the Hot Press Instagram (@hotpressmagazine) at 7.30pm.