Jun 18, 2021
By Caleb Campbell
Photography by Gracie and Rachel
Brooklyn indie pop duo Gracie and Rachel changed things up last year with their sophomore album, Hello Weakness, You Make Me Strong. With a new producer and more electronic elements added to their billowing baroque pop stylings, the new sound, while potent and moving, proved to be a challenging adjustment for the pair.
In response Gracie and Rachel have reimagined three tracks from the album in their forthcoming EP, a whisper becomes a shout, stripping the tracks back to their original stark intimacy. The band shared “undo (a whisper)” earlier this month and are now back with the second release from the EP, “speak (a whisper),” premiering with Under the Radar.
“speak (a whisper)” transforms the lushly arranged original into an gorgeous, intimate ballad. With the duo’s trademark warmth, gentle vocals, and swelling violin they strip the pop heights of the original back into its barest essentials, laying bare the emotive core of the track. The solemn instrumentation and hushed studio banter add for a newfound powerful simplicity, all while retaining the duo’s alluring chemistry and contemplative lyricism.
The duo says of the track, “‘Speak’ was written after an argument between the two of us. We honestly cannot remember what the argument was about; all we know is Gracie left the loft to get some air and Rachel sat down at the piano, away from her violin, and wrote this song to Gracie to let her know she wasn’t going anywhere, even if her mouth couldn’t speak those words out loud in the heat of the argument.”
“When we brought this song to the team it was considered to be ‘a hit’ and the one we needed to really build up and make a more pop song statement out of. But it’s a song about quietness and about figuring your way through a moment, how to put one foot (or word) in front of another, and we wanted to try to capture that process of searching, trying to figure it out as you go along, with the dialogue that’s scattered on the track. We’ve always sort of mourned the intimacy of that original piano cry, that quiet but assured longing, and so with this whisper version we were able to bring those solemn sounds back and speak them into the ether.”
Check out the song below and watch for a whisper becomes a shout, due out June 25th on Righteous Babe Records.