After a weekend of listening to Grace Potter & The Nocturnals’ newest studio album (out today!) on long stretches of Midwestern highway, feeling my way through the melodies and harmonies so I could sing along, I am extremely pleased to have Fuel/Friends exclusively debut the final debut in her series of acoustic videos of songs from the album. Recorded a few months ago outside San Diego, these videos give you such a sense of the rootsy eclecticism of the album. No one is making music exactly like this right now.
When Grace talks about the new album, she says, “Everything we had was sitting right in front of us, and it just poured out of us.” Don’t you see that here? I see the intuitive interplay of band members who know each other well, and hear it on this album. I also love the subtle counter-weight in these videos in the vocal harmonies of bassist Catherine Popper (formerly of Ryan Adams & The Cardinals).
Grace is nothing short of magnetic when she performs. She throws back her head and wails, she looks like she’s remembering the person the song was written for, she’s okay with being transparent and vulnerable, and asking for the one goodbye kiss. When I interviewed her in 2008 under the San Francisco cypress trees, she said, “What I’m most fascinated by is a woman artist who can speak realistically, from her soul, and not be bullshitting.” Grace does that; I do believe her.
One other video from earlier in the series that has grabbed me tenaciously is this simple rendition of “Things I Never Needed,” the final song on the new album. I made an mp3 because I can’t stop watching the video; the power in her voice here gives me chills, and somehow the song sounds like I’ve already known it for a very long time before.
“…I’m the only one who’s bleeding from things I never needed”
Things I Never Needed (acoustic) – Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
Grace Potter & The Nocturnals is out today on Hollywood Records, and Amazon has it for $7. And – I just noticed she’s playing the superfun Film On The Rocks series at Red Rocks on July 6th, as well as Aspen the night before! That would be a marvelous capper to a Fourth of July weekend. I’ve not yet seen her on that giant rosy rock stage, but I just know she can hold her own. Shall we?