15 Dec 2018
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Tess Goodwin - Single Review: Grace

07 Jul 2018 // A review by Peter-James Dries

In this world of instant gratification, something can be said about a song that can make you feel, even if that feeling is longing. Longing, usually a feeling with negative connotations, is something you miss out on when you can binge watch an entire show or listen to a musician’s whole discography. We don’t know how to deal with longing now, or how to wait.

I felt longing after listening to Grace, the new single from Tess Goodwin.

An independent artist, without the resources of more commercial bands, Goodwin only has two singles readily available. When the last note of Grace rings out, after a slow pensive build up from piano to full band, you want more. Longing. Now what do I do?

Independent though she may be, this isn’t a bedroom one take, as the label has frequently come to imply. There’s an incredible presence in the recording. The instruments sound live, which makes it feel like you’re right there watching a band play. Tess’s voice clear and emotional. The song speaks in reverence of the freedom in someone unleashing their inner creativity, if even for themselves, which from the outside seems to be talking about Goodwin herself. Unleashing her own creativity if only for herself.  

From the two tracks I’ve found, I can hear that Tess Goodwin is more of an artist than a musician, in the modern sense of the word. She’s painting pictures with music and imparting inspirational messages with her lyrics.

The interpretive dance in the accompanying music video for the track, which is relevant to the lyrics of the song, shows that Grace is more of an exploration of creativity than a vehicle to launch Goodwin to stardom.

Were this a world where artistic integrity was valued more than the dollars an artist can bring a label, then Goodwin would be ten fully-funded records in and known internationally for her voice and song writing.

Unfortunately, this is the world where you’re given the option to throw a dollar at Tess, as if she were some common street performer, for a track that would have cost a darn sight more of her own money to produce, just to be buried under the sea of copy and pasted electronic and poorly executed bedroom covers. But that shouldn’t take anything away from the song. It’s still a short and sweet, and listenable track, which I’m sure she’s proud of.

It may not fit the mould of what’s considered radio friendly or television worthy in these times, which doesn’t win Goodwin any favours in the quest to stardom, but I think that’s what makes Grace stand out for me.  Not that I imagine stardom so much matters to her. It sounds more like music done with a passion and love for performing.

Thankfully, there is still an underground faction to whom this music will appeal, and I hope Tess can find some listenership among them. Even if the goal is to produce something you yourself would listen to and enjoy, and the pleasure in the production of the song itself, there is always some pay off to appreciation from others. Well, Tess Goodwin has my appreciation. I hope she continues enjoying the process, so we see more of her in future. Even if it is so I know what to do with this longing.

★★★★★ (5 stars)


Review written by Peter-James Dries

 

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