The Art Of Closure

The Art Of Closure

“This is everything I wish I'd said,” GRACEY tells Apple Music of her second EP, The Art of Closure. “Sometimes I’m in the shower and I’m like, ‘Oh, I should have said that.’ And that’s where all the lyrics come from.” Such shower thoughts largely encompass moving on from lost love, as the pop talent and sought-after songwriter returns to the breakup she explored on her 2019 debut EP Imposter Syndrome. But if on that EP the Brighton artist sounded wounded, here GRACEY is defiant: embracing that all-important closure with her inventive, emotive pop. “I feel like my ex might have listened to Imposter Syndrome and thought, ‘She still loves me.’ And I'm like, ‘Listen to this one and be like, “Oh my god, I messed up.”’” Released just after the UK entered its second 2020 lockdown, The Art of Closure also offers meditations on being alone in your room, screen time, and dependence on social media—but not for the reasons you might think. The singer—real name Grace Barker—wrote most of the songs here following surgery on her voice in June 2019, after which she was unable to talk for two weeks and then confined to her childhood bedroom for three months. “It shook me—not knowing whether you’re going to be able to sing again is freaky,” she says. “But so much can happen in a year. I can’t let anything in my life hold me down for too long.” Read on as GRACEY walks us through The Art of Closure, one song at a time.
99% “I wrote this song three or four years ago, and it was one of the songs that got me signed as an artist. I’ve been holding on to it ever since. I wrote it with my friend [British songwriter and producer] Starsmith. He played this bassline and it was instantly just like, ‘What is that?’ It was so exciting. The song is about when you’re not fully over someone—you’re at 99%—and having someone else there. It comes through and changes your mind.”
Empty Love “This is a love song to social media and is about that validation you get from other people. I didn't want it to be preachy, like, ‘Don't go on your phones.’ I wanted it to be like, ‘I do it too. I need you to give me love. I need you to tell me that I'm acceptable and that you think I'm pretty and you think I'm cool.’ I met Ruel in February 2019 just as writers, but we just got on really well. He's so funny, such a good guy and so talented. And when I'd written ‘Empty Love,’ I felt like it kind of hit themes that we'd kind of spoken about that day. He brought so much to the song and elevated it.”
Don’t “Depending on your headspace, this is possibly one of the saddest songs on the EP. It's so to the point, and it's basically everything I wish I had said instead of releasing Imposter Syndrome. What I love about ‘Don’t’ is that it’s heavy and it's chaotic and there's loads going on, but the top line is very calm. I think when you get to the point in a relationship when you know you're done, and you can't shout anymore and you just know what needs to be said, you are calm. There's a lot going on underneath the surface. But what you're actually saying is pretty simple.”
Like That “My friends always say until you can imagine yourself with someone else, there's no way you were done. You need to be able to be open to that situation. But when it's the right person, and the right timing, it just happens and you don't need to overthink it. That's what this song is to me. People had heard this song on a little clip I’d put on Instagram a while ago. I was getting a message like once or twice a week asking when I would release this. Over lockdown, I actually got round to finishing it—finessing it, rewriting it, and sending it to [Chicago pop artist and guest vocalist on ‘Like That’] Alexander 23. It was finally completed in my bedroom, and I loved it.”
Care Less “When I’m in writing sessions, I always say, ‘Give me the happiest chords in the world, and I will give you something to cry to.’ There’s that juxtaposition in this song, with the sweetness of the chords. When I wrote the first verse, I honestly felt like a rapper because it all came out in one. And then it was just like a therapy session. ‘Care Less’ surrounds all the same things in ‘Don’t.' But what's so surprising about this one is I had literally wrote it like a year ago, around the time that I wrote Imposter Syndrome. I just don't think I was ready to listen to myself. The vocals were also recorded before my surgery, and I can hear the pain in my voice. I didn't change it, even though I maybe should have, because it's so intense when I listen to it.”
Alone in My Room (Gone) “This was originally called ‘Gone.’ And then we were put into lockdown, and I was like, ‘I'm back in my room. This is hilarious.’ So I changed the name. This song is a lot more vulnerable than the others on the record. [In a breakup], you’ll have days where you feel amazing, and you're doing well for months and months. And then you'll have a day where you mess up. You've got to keep going. I wanted to put this song on this EP because it’s about coming to terms with it. You’re saying, ‘Okay, that person's gone.’ My entire first EP was clinging onto someone. I hope that people can listen to this song and know that even though it's scary, you have to go through it, and you're not alone. Everyone goes through it, and everyone's journey is different.”
Don’t Need Love “220 KID and I did a studio session and immediately got on. He had the chorus to this song, and I heard it and fell in love with it. We got back in together and reworked it and made it into something I felt I could put in my set. This song has been a bit of a whirlwind. It was mental it being in the top 10 this year, but it was also a really nice moment. I remember the exact day I got my voice done, which was the 26th of June, 2019. And one year later, 220 KID and I were in the charts. And it just made me realize that so much can happen in a year. You just have to keep going.”


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