‘Daylight’ is the second solo LP from Grace Potter and her first for Snakefarm Records, who released the record in the UK in October last year.
‘Daylight’ arrives after a turbulent, life-altering 4-year hiatus from music that saw the acclaimed singer / songwriter contemplating whether she would ever make another album. Cathartic and emotionally raw, ‘Daylight’ is the result of that arduous journey – the most raw, revealing, musically daring work of her career.
Potter is well known, of course, for her work with Grace Potter and The Nocturnals, with whom she recorded four studio albums.
“I’ve always aimed to write songs from a universal perspective, so that anyone who heard my music could relate, but that actually made it harder for me to take ownership of my own perspective. These songs were written so I could process – and be accountable for – my own life experience,” Potter says. “I had just pulled the ripcord on my whole life. It was an incredibly jarring, private experience. When the dust settled a bit, the last thing I wanted to do was tell the entire world about it through song. It was a very gradual process of re-framing music and its purpose in my life. So, when I finally started writing songs again, it had to be for myself and myself alone.”
Produced by her husband Eric Valentine, ‘Daylight’ took shape in the Topanga Canyon home they’d recently settled into. Unsigned and entirely free of any pressure to appease, Potter slowly carved out ideas and the two began laying down tracks. Moving to Valentine’s Hollywood studio, Barefoot Recording, the songs came to life with the help of long-time Potter collaborators, including guitarist Benny Yurco and drummer Matt Musty, friends Benmont Tench and Larry Goldings on keys, plus supreme vocalists, Jess Wolfe & Holly Laessig, of the indie band Lucius.
On powerful album opener and first single, ‘Love Is Love’, Potter fully surrenders as her voice shifts from fragile to soaring. It was the first track written for ‘Daylight’ and she found the process so unsettling, it temporarily put her off attempting any further self-examination in song.
“‘Love Is Love’ is so confessional, it was terrifying. After we recorded the demo, I had no desire to keep on writing because the feelings were still too raw,” she confirms. “I was scared to dig any deeper.”
Throughout ‘Daylight’, Potter imbues her songs with equal parts aching vulnerability and unapologetic self-possession. In many ways, the stark piano ballad ‘Release’ is the album’s centrepiece. Sorrowful yet redemptive, its resolution lies in a lyric by co-writer Mike Busbee (“I hope that someday/The sun will shine again/And you’ll release me too”).
While much of the new album mirrors the emotional chaos of her recent past, ‘Daylight’ also channels a soulful wonder on songs like ‘Every Heartbeat’, an acoustic-guitar-laced serenade for Valentine and their infant son, Sagan. And on ‘Desire’, ‘Daylight’ drifts into an impulsively playful mood, serving up a sweet celebration of unabashed lust.
Described by Spin as “one of the greatest living voices in rock today”, Grace Potter has not only played every major festival from Coachella and Lollapalooza to Bonnaroo and Rock in Rio, she’s created her own, Burlington’s Grand Point North. Additionally, she’s shared a stage with artists such as The Rolling Stones, Willie Nelson, Robert Plant, the Allman Brothers, Neil Young, Jackson Browne, Mavis Staples, and The Roots to name just a few. Potter has also collaborated with the Flaming Lips for a Tim Burton film, written and produced music for film & TV, and recorded two GRAMMY-nominated, multi-platinum singles with her friend Kenny Chesney.
Having endured a painful divorce and the break-up of her band— as well as far more joyful events like a new marriage and the birth of her first child, Grace Potter reached for the ‘Daylight’ and delivered a commanding statement of power and purpose.