SONG PREMIERE: Grace Askew Roars on New Song, “Coyote Love”
Born in Memphis, Grace Askew was raised on Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley; dug into her blues, soul, and folk roots in New Orleans; maintained inspiration from artists like Tom Waits, Mahalia Jackson, Sylvan Esso, and Cat Power, and now layers in the textures of synths, electric guitar, and vocal loops to create music that defies place or genre. With 6 studio albums and nearly a decade of touring under her belt, Grace has solidified herself as a relentlessly creative artist. She cut her first records at the legendary Ardent Studios & Sun Studios in Memphis, and has been a regular on the singer-songwriter circuit joining the likes of James McMurtry, Leon Russell, Marty Stuart, Ray Wylie Hubbard and more.
In the Spring of 2018, Askew will release a new EP, Coyote Love, Askew’s story of falling in love and learning who she is. The lyrics remind you to be patient, kind and loving to others and yourself, no matter how hard things may get. The settings include places of darkness and paint a picture of bursting into the light. The six-song EP still has Askew’s rootsy soul, but the bluesy growl has been toned down and interwoven with a cleaner, more produced sound. While a lot of this came from her work with the Ableton Push, it was also influenced by her producers Scott Hardin and his partner, Elliott Ives, who spent the last five years recording and touring with Justin Timberlake.
“I always thought she was dope. She has such a strong vocal that is unique in its own right. As soon as you hear the first lyric on any song, you’re like “Damn!” says Ives. “Plus she was on the hunt for a new sound, and that intrigued me as well. Today music is a melting pot of sorts, and country music is borrowing from other genres. So, my partner, Scott Hardin, and I really pushed the envelope sonically. Grace would reign us in the perfect amount and we met in the middle to create her new sound.”
Meeting in the middle meant adding synths, Native American vocals, electric guitar, robot voices, cello, Gregorian chanting, and creating new sounds wherever they could (some of the percussion was made from found objects in the lobby of Young Avenue Sound where they recorded). Sonically, it’s worlds away from the music Askew has made in the past, but it still has the heart of Grace. It’s definitely a departure from what people have come to know and expect, but it’s one of the best surprises of the year.
Today, Askew shares the title track from the project. Penned by Askew, the track fuses varied sounds into a landscape that is a dark and sultry, groovy and bluesy, spacious trip.
“I see them jeans boy, yeah you got good genes
I like the way you’re sneakin’ ‘round, sneakin’ ‘round me
But you turn your back, and talk to the wall
But I know black, and I know what’s goin’ on
Take me howlin’ all night”
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