Memphis-based, crossover vocalist GRACE ASKEW has been playing guitar and singing for half her life.
Askew was nurtured on Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley and went down to New Orleans to get in touch with her blues, soul, rockabilly and folk roots.
But experiencing separation from the scene, she returned home to Memphis where she cut two EPs in the legendary Ardent Studios (Leon Russell, James Taylor, Isaac Hayes, Bob Dylan) with producer Pete Matthews (Evanescence) and assembled a band.
After extended touring, Askew found herself in L.A. auditioning for the The Voice (U.S. season 4)
Exposure from that program developed quickly. To take advantage of this new fame, she went directly into Sun Studios to make a record titled “Scaredy Cat” with Matt Ross-Spang.
Though she loved the album, she felt it didn’t entirely represent her diversity of musical tastes, that range from Tom Waits via Mahalia Jackson to Sylvan Esso, Jeff Buckley to Cat Power.
Diverting from American musical orthodoxy and tired of trying to fit in, Askew reached out to local producers — Ives and Hardin — [ Young Avenue Sound] to release her inner sound and find her free-flying voice. The result is a genuinely innovative crossover vision.
Now Grace has released her single “Warrior” on video — it will be the title-track from her upcoming EP, due out early 2018 —
We had a listen:
Amidst a clatter of inventive drummery the idiosyncratic voice, with tense trills and crystalline lows steps itself out.
This is an incredibly elegant piece of songwriting and theater … abnormally fresh in a postmodern way, without being superficial.
It is full of cleverly seductive nuances. So, if you’re a hardcore quirk-hunting hipster seeking the next big thing… Hooray! — you’ve just found it.