Premiere: Amy Grace succumbs to life’s changes on poignant debut album ‘seasons’

Amy Grace has offered glimpses into her life on Seasons, an eight-track project that serves as the Sydney musician’s debut album.

Premiering today (December 1) on Happy Mag, the record sees Amy Grace reminisce on the changing seasons of life over the last few years, with the album opener intro fittingly feeling like something of a sonic birth. 

Drenched in ambient and atmospheric synths, the first track includes spoken-word samples and sound effects, like the subtle coo of a young baby or snapshots of a telephone call.

Amy Grace 'seasons'

More concerned with a feeling than flashy production, intro fulfils its goal of establishing the first season of life, serving as a masterclass in scene-setting. 

The following title track opens with the warmth of acoustic guitar, as Grace steals the show with beautifully raw and intimate vocals.

She adds texture to seasons with layered backing harmonies — so airy and ascendant they might just touch the heavens — proving that the singer-songwriter’s vocals are instruments all unto themselves. 

Amy Grace 'seasons'

The sparseness and simplicity of the production not only allows Grace’s vocal performance to shine, but draws focus to her vulnerable songwriting. Here, she muses on sleepless nights and being “caught up again in all the changes.”

Grace confronts the instability of life with incisive clarity, comparing the inescapability of change to the inevitable shifting of wind tides or the transition of autumn leaves from green to brown.

The poignant lyricism is only elevated by the track’s ethereal sound, which makes for an altogether moving portrait on how “it’s changing so fast.”

Amy Grace 'seasons'

It’s a message particularly relevant for 20-somethings like Grace, and her grasp of coming-of-age storytelling takes centre stage on third track getting older.    

This guitar-driven entry feels like the sonic equivalent of a timeworn memory, not least because it finds Grace at a moment of reminiscence.

The singer “flick[s] through the past” to recall evocative images of a bygone relationship, from sunburnt skin to a broken necklace.

Amy Grace 'seasons'

So detailed are Grace’s descriptions that you tangibly envision her muse, with warmth of the surrounding instrumentation cloaking her reflections in the warm haze of nostalgia. 

Grace heads to country-folk territory on rooftop, a twangy tale of finding home, while a moment or two incorporates sounds of nature — like chirping birds and rustling leaves — to ruminate on staying present even amid the rapid passage of time.

Despite their delicate tenderness, the songs reach triumphant levels with the assist of swirling synths and brooding piano, a quality best showcased on weathered. 

Here, Grace again likens seasonal changes to those experienced in youth, from growing grasses to summer rains. In a shining moment of acceptance, Grace succumbs to these rains — and the growth they signify — on dance in the rain, which revels in the beauty of life’s unchangeable course amid plucky strings and an upbeat tempo. 

Amy Grace 'seasons'

Grace’s journey reaches its conclusion on final track close the door, which culminates her reflections with the assist of simple chords and her most resplendent vocals yet.

“The winds have been so strong,” she whispers in a moment of catharsis, “but I’m barely moving.” To muse on heady themes with such clarity and maturity is a feat for any artist, but seasons is especially impressive given that it marks Grace’s first-ever official project.

Amy Grace 'seasons'

With such an insightful pen and commanding voice, this feels like a breakout moment for one of Sydney’s — if not the country’s — most promising singer-songwriters. We simply can’t get enough. 

Listen to Amy Grace’s debut album seasons below.