Grace Potter Midnight on 2LP + Download
Grace Potter’s epic musical journey reaches a new milestone with the arrival of her solo debut, Midnight, an inspired work that is surprising, revelatory and wildly original. Midnight was recorded and mixed at Barefoot Studios in Hollywood with producer Eric Valentine, whose own diverse discography - from Queens of the Stone Age to Nickel Creek - evidences a similarly adventurous spirit and openness to possibility. If Valentine’s studio work has a distinguishing characteristic, it’s his hard-hitting sonic signature, which is on display throughout Midnight’s dozen tracks.
The core studio band consisted of Potter and Valentine on most of the instruments, with Matt Burr on drums and percussion. In addition, members of Potter’s longtime band The Nocturnals: guitarists Scott Tournet and Benny Yurco and bassist Michael Libramento contributed to the sessions, as well as former tour-mates and friends including singer-songwriter Rayland Baxter, Audra Mae, Noelle Skaggs of Fitz & the Tantrums, Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips, and Nick Oliveri of Queens of the Stone Age.
The seeds for what would become Midnight were planted by Potter at home, in Vermont, in the fall of 2013. Valentine was intrigued by Grace’s sonic experiments in her work-tapes, so much so that they formed the blueprint for a number of the arrangements that made the final cut. “Her demos had an incredible vibe that really captured a groove or mood that would immediately grab your attention,” he notes. “So it seemed like that was the way to chase down this record as an honest representation of what Grace wanted to say and how she wanted these tracks to feel - because she had done such a good job of laying it out herself.”
The album's lead single "Alive Tonight," was inspired by an impending storm. “Hot to the Touch,” the aggressive, hook-heavy rocker that Grace chose to open the album, was the last song written for it while “Delirious” served as the tipping point in many ways. Looking at some of Midnight’s other key songs, the stirring “Look What We’ve Become” began with a borrowed premise yet wound up as the album’s autobiographical centerpiece. Grace undertook the writing of “Your Girl” with the aim of coming up with a new take on a classic love triangle on this 70’s tinged soul gem. With its rippling guitar riff and gospel-choir payoff, “Empty Heart” is one of the catchiest songs on the album.
“In many ways, Midnight feels like a new beginning, but really, it’s a continuation of my story," Potter closes. "I’ve always taken chances and sharp turns. So here I am again wandering into completely uncharted waters - just laying it all out there because ‘why the fuck not?’ I have absolutely no control over how this music will be received, and that’s OK. The risk is mine, and I'm taking it with all my heart.”