Thursday, June 25, 2015

Listen: Gracie - "Black Ice"

It's been awhile since we've heard anything from Brooklyn based electronic pop act Gracie and longer still since there was any official release to get worked up about. Since the release of his Work It Out EP in 2013, Gracie has undergone a change or two - namely in regards to the actual lineup as well as mostly focusing on one-off singles here and there.

While "Hood Rich" leaned a bit into the R&B influences everyone in Brooklyn seems to feeling these days, "Spilt Milk" and "Bunny Junction" served to reinforce that Gracie hasn't quite jumped the shark. Even if there's nothing really planned for them, they were proper benchmarks for Andrew Balasia's experimentation. "Black Ice" is simultaneously a return to form and a noteworthy exploration. There's a multitude of layers, threading electronic and acoustic elements together; carefully avoiding overwhelming the simple but memorable melodic idea. Not that anything really stands a chance at that - Gracie continues with one of his earliest musical signatures as the initial main melody finds a way to persist through the track's various diversions without really beating you over the head with the idea. It's slight, peeking out when there's plenty else going on to reassure you it hasn't been forgotten without drawing focus from secondary melodic ideas and the sparsely utilized effects.

"Black Ice" is Gracie at their most compositionally subtle. It's ear-catching and accessible but also fun and smartly arranged. How Balasia manages to spin an engaging pop jam out of taking a spill on a patch of ice is beyond me and yet, it's arguably one of Gracie's best tracks. Here's hoping there's more to come of this caliber from the newly minted duo.

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