The Brighton-raised singer-songwriter’s arresting, piano-led pop exists on a sliding scale between strength and vulnerability, each track hinged on the 20-year-old’s robust and emotionally bracing vocals.
Carter started making music when she was 13 after her stepfather, also a musician, gave her a guitar and encouraged her to start writing. A self-professed “angry child”, music allowed her to express her frustration and feelings of confusion growing up with her single mother. Now, though, her songwriting has dual ambitions: in addition to exploring her own feelings she wants to help others express themselves emotionally.
Thankfully, Carter succeeds in terms of relatability, her music exposing the universality of emotions as they veer from lovelorn to irate. Debut single Silence boils with exasperation at ineffectual communication. Likewise, her debut EP, Saving Grace, is a fervent meditation on life, family and heartache. Ashes, produced by frequent Beyoncé collaborator Mike Dean, creaks with longing and pin-sharp R&B beats, and Saving Grace throbs with reverence for the singer’s mother. Grace Carter’s music isn’t rewriting the rules; it’s so good it doesn’t have to.