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Show Review

When Grace Mitchell walks into the room, everyone around her is automatically hit with serious rock star vibes. She's tall, has wild curly hair and the style of an 80s rock icon. And that's just on the surface. Then she opens her mouth to sing and listeners are hit with a really powerful voice.

Mitchell recently stopped by the Baeble Studio for a session where she performed her songs "Capital Letters," "Come Back For You," "Now," and "NoLo." A true genre-bender at heart, her indie rock-pop songs have R&B influences, and some songs are even straight up Nirvana-inspired rock -- i.e. "Kids (Ain't All Right)." However when she played them for our staff they were stripped down with an energizing drum kit (okay, not that stripped down, this is rock 'n' roll after all) and surfy electric guitar. What mended all of the songs together was her rich, full-bodied vocal and impeccably cool style. In addition to the performance, we chatted with her about traveling the world, her fans' interpretations of her songs, and the struggles of releasing music in today's industry.

Transcript

Your Design and a woman came up to me at a show and was like, "Your Design is one of my favorite songs because I'm an architect.
" It's like kind of a love song but she took it very literally as a design song, and it was rad.
I love when that happens, that is all I can hope for, is that people take it and interpret it in their own way and then get to tell me about it.
I'm not sorry, I got faded Don't care enough to debate it
Falling from this conversation Playing nice is overrated
Fuck it, I'll just take it with me If I know that I'll pay for it later
Hey!
I know I'm making a big mistake I'm gonna do it the hard way
I'm gonna say it in capital letters, capital letters
Hey!
I know I'll mess up deliberately Because I'm
fed up with common play, let's see how you react to capital letters,
capital letters
No reason to get defensive Your fault you're a no retentive
Yes, ma'am, I still get the message Just as passive as aggressive, fuck it,
I'll just take it with me if I know that you'll get me back later, hey!
I know I'm making a big mistake, I'm gonna do it the hard way, I'm gonna say
it in capital letters, capital letters, hey!
I know I'll mess up deliberately Because I'm
fed up with common play, let's see how you react to capital letters,
capital letters, I know I'm making a big mistake, I'm gonna do it the hard way
I'm gonna say it in capital letters, capital letters
I started playing music when I was young because I really liked creative writing and playing guitar, and I happened to be next door neighbors with this guy named Richard Swift, he's a producer, a pretty well-known producer.
And he helped me to record a small acoustic demo that kind of started circulating around LA and San Francisco.
I see the way that you've been lookin' at me
You know that I got what you want and
I have been touring and making music ever since.
Were over the day that it started
Yeah, I think I always had a dream that I wanted to use music to be able to travel the world and thankfully that has happened for me, and I just want to keep kind of pursuing that.
And making sure that it is something I can do for like the rest of my life.
Walk down the staircase, look through the glass
Pulling a suitcase out to the grass Biting your nails down until you feel
sick, put on your raincoat and deal with it
I'll put my foot on the gas, one in a million chance
I'll ride it till it comes crashing, comes crashing down
I'm growing out of these bones, some things you do on your own
I better not catch you crying, no crying 'cause
I'll come back for you, seeing me get out but it's not that simple
Light the final fuse
I want to work it out but I can't because it's not easy to see your
face now, it's not easy to walk away, I'll say it a million times, I'll come
back for you
Up to the door now, I follow the rules, no sudden movements,
keeping it cool, a deafening silence, three on the couch, I'm watching the
smoke roll out of your mouth
Have I been sleeping awake or stuck in denial for days
Lifting me up but I'm crashing, I'm crashing now, I'm growing out
of these bones, some things you do on your own, I better not catch you crying,
no crying 'cause I'll come back for you Seeing me get out but it's not that
simple, light the final fuse, I want to work it out but I can't because
it's not easy to see your face now It's not easy to walk away, I'll say it
a million times
I'll come back for you
Then it fades to black If I'm being honest, I
never wanted that, never thought I would say sorry
I'll come back for you
Seeing me get out but it's not that simple, light the final fuse,
I want to work it out but I can't
Because it's not easy to see your face now, it's
not easy to walk way, I'll say it a million times, I'll come back for you,
for you
Yeah, the playlist is called 21st & Motley.
I could sign my life on the dotted line
Today it's really difficult to release a full body of work and have every song on the album get all the recognition that an artist thinks it should get.
And I was really fearful about releasing an album and having some of the songs that I was really passionate about kind of fall to the wayside and other songs that I still obviously really love maybe got most recognition.
So I wanted to release music in a playlist style format where I could release something every like two or three weeks, and make sure that all the songs got the love they deserved.
This is the end of something And everything's about to change
It's completely liberating to be able to make whatever music I really want at the time.
What's inspiring me in the moment.
I've never really identified with any one particular genre, I identify with many different ones.
And so having the opportunity and the liberty to just do that every three or four weeks is really...is really fun. What's the worst thing that could happen?
I could fall into another dimension
I could sign my life on the dotted line Maybe get some shit that just
wasn't mine
In the end, I'd do it every time
Take my mom on a vacation, get myself a fancy ride
Put vanilla ice on my cherry lime And give myself a break on
the other side
In the end, I'll know I did it right
Got so many friends who tell me I'm so pretty all
the time
This is the end of something And everything's about to change
I did my best with nothing in the jungle of the accolades
This is the end of something And everything's about to change
I did my best with nothing But the jungle did me in, so
Forget about your friends, they'll leave you in the end, and don't you
wanna be in the now? Forget about the fame,
it's only just a game, and don't you wanna be in the now?
What's the worst thing I
could imagine in the blinding lights, camera, action?
I could come off nice like a valentine And promise you a life on the other side
In the end,
I'll know I did it right, sorry for the suckers, you just met me at the perfect
time
This is the end of something And everything's about to change
I did my best with nothing In the jungle of the accolades
This is the end of something And everything's about to change
I did my best with nothing But the jungle did me in, so
Forget about your friends, they'll leave you in the end
And don't you wanna be in the now? Forget about the fame,
it's only just a game, and don't you wanna be in the now?
What's the worst thing that could happen?
I could fall into another dimension What's the worst thing that
could happen?
I could fall into another dimension This is the end of something and
everything's about to change
I did my best with nothing In the jungle of the accolades
This is the end of something and everything's about to change
I did my best with nothing
But the jungle did me in, so Forget about your friends,
They'll leave you in the end And don't you wanna be in the now?
Forget about the fame, it's only just a game, and don't you wanna
be in the now?
Thrown right in our face, is no one sorry?
(Ooh, ooh)
The reality of being in music is that it's very challenging, there's no real equation to how people become successful.
Sometimes they're overnight successes, sometimes it takes like 5 years, sometimes it takes 10 years, sometimes they become legendary after they are dead.
So kind of being okay with whatever happens is how you keep a positive outlook and make it about the music.
Yeah, I think that pop music in Los Angeles is kind of this very interesting place right now where people are like trying to push boundaries but also it's for top 40 radio and it's going to be circulated all over the world.
So it's very, like, all- inclusive and I feel like when I listen to pop music of the past it's really pushing boundaries and it's provocative and it's addressing things.
And I want to make sure that I'm true to that in my music where I'm always talking about things that I'm passionate about and things that are true to me and that make me really rowdy.
I see the way that you've been lookin' at me
You know that I got what you want and Think I gotta let you know that we
Were over the day that it started And it was comin',
now I bet you are leavin' The writing was all on the wall and
You told me to move on
And we tried to dance and you didn't wanna look uncool
And you took my hands and I put my trust in you
Then you let it go
How do you know What the top looks like when
you're livin' on the bottom? And how do you know what a love looks
like when your heart's been broken? I take some time, I gotta get mine
And you gotta know low if you wanna get high
Don't worry 'bout me, it's all better now, you
can worry 'bout you, I'm all better now
Rollin' off like water on my back
I know that you owe me some money We don't really gotta talk
about that 'cause I'll let it slide for you, honey, see you walkin' and you're
lookin' so sad, I wish that I cared but it's funny, I don't need you anymore
Go
And we made our plans and you let them all fall through
And you took my hands and
I put my trust in you, then you let it go
How do you know what the top looks
like when you're livin' on the bottom? And how do you know what a love looks
like when your heart's been broken? I take some time, I gotta get mine and you
gotta know low if you wanna get high Don't worry 'bout me,
it's all better now
You can worry 'bout you, I'm all better now
It ain't nothin' but a fact now
Let the hundreds roll like water off my back now, you need to get out of my
face and you're comin' back for more Beggin' for a little taste now and you
can't touch,
I don't pick up when my crew don't trust 'cause I know better now,
I'm better than ever, lace my pumped up kicks, get faded and never trip like...
How do you know?
How do you know what love is? I take some time, I gotta get mine
And you gotta know low if you wanna get high

Artist Bio

If one wanted to describe 18 year old Grace Mitchell in a nutshell one might say shes a post-Yeezus, highly aware pop disruptor with a lifelong reverence for Tori Amos and a frenetic, fiery sound that raises a middle finger to the zeitgeist while possessing the power to reshape it- but thats just the beginning.

Were always trying to innovate and make pop music sound fresh, she declares. Its never standard or formulaic. Its experimental, and Im telling stories.

In order to properly convey that style, the Oregon native locked herself in a Los Angeles studio with Mark Foster of Foster The People back in 2014. When they emerged, she came armed with an explosive sonic concoction thats as danceable as it is deadly.

What I hear naturally and what he hears naturally are two very different things, but they complement each other, she goes on. The more time we spent together, we identified something very articulable. Its more creative, but still poppy and at a really fast tempo.

On her 2015 Race Day EP, the schizophrenic slap of Jitter shifts from a skittering vocal sample into an eerily catchy harmony and funked-up break with lines like, We dont care if you can see, everyones jittering. Over a hyper kinetic backdrop, Grace weaves together a different kind of take on that high school party set piece from your favorite movie.

We originally wanted to make it a ballad, she admits. Then, it just got faster and faster with that vocal sample. We decided to make it about that idealist young adult party situation. However, its high energy, reckless, promiscuous, and provocative. Its a good indication of what Im doing.

(There was another character from the Pacific Northwest who sang about teenage disillusionment like this say 25 years ago or so, and it worked out for himjust saying!)

Elsewhere, Breaking Hearts and Taking Names is what she dubs, a classic party song, but more empowering and thought-provoking. Then, theres the title track, which nods to her hometown of Eugene, OR nicknamed TrackTown USA.

Signed to Republic Records in 2013, Grace officially entered the race with her cover of Maneater, which appeared on the soundtrack to the critically acclaimed The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Her debut EP, Design, got the blogs buzzing in 2014 with tracks like the single Broken Over You.

Ultimately, youre going to have a lot to say about Grace once Race Day drops. With this EP, Id like for people to be able to relate to the music in a direct way or even on a more subconscious manner, she leaves off. These are my observations of what Im seeing. You can take the stories or the 'fuck you from it.

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Grace Mitchell

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