Zoe Graham – Gradual Move (A Modern Way)

Zoe Graham – Gradual Move (A Modern Way)

Highlighted as one of this site’s tips for 2020 (boy this year did not pan out how any of us expected), Glasgow’s Zoe Graham has built on the promise of the first track to be released from this EP, ‘Sleep Talking,’ and delivered a cohesive four track EP.

Though she has a background in folk music, this sees her fully immersed in self-assured electronic pop; think Lorde, Christine and the Queens or St. Vincent. If those sound like unfair comparisons and to put too heavy a weight on an artist still in her early twenties, believe me when I say (write?) that she carries it with aplomb. Yes, she may wear her heart on her sleeve, but the difference between her and so many singer-songwriters is that instead of confessionalism being wearying, it’s enticing.

Sometimes EPs can feel like one track backed with two or three more that seem like b-sides just to bolster a superior track, but here it’s how EPs were meant to be: four tracks on an even pegging. The opening title track talks about keeping mementos like shards of wood and hair from a childhood pet; ideas that could be offputtingly kooky in many hands, yet here sees her connecting her past with the future.

The aforementioned ‘Sleep Talking‘ may – at a push – just be the finest track here, born out of night-time anxiety, that the person sleeping next to you may have heard something you said, revealing your true self and thus showing yourself not to be completely honest ‘Said it in my sleep, babe, and I hope you didn’t hear it.’

And when she sings ‘Didn’t I tell you it would be alright/Didn’t I tell you it would be just fine‘ on ‘Fault Lines‘ it feels that she’s reassured everyone listening that whatever experiences she has had, she’s going to be ok, and that this is just an early step on what deserves to be a very successful critical and commercial career. I’ve listened to this EP many times whilst writing this review, and each successive listen has revealed something further. Fifteen minutes of music that barely wastes a second.

8/10

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