Lock­down has caused many a col­lab­o­ra­tive project to tem­porar­i­ly frag­ment, result­ing in solo work that may be of a more intense and intro­spec­tive nature. Out today is Grace de Souza­’s excit­ing new solo EP called Bet­ter in Space. Grace is a mem­ber of Lon­don-based band KIN (see inter­view with KIN band here). Grace found her­self deal­ing with dif­fi­cult emo­tions dur­ing the height of lock­down: a grow­ing sense of soci­ety unrav­el­ling with unrest, the protests, polit­i­cal tur­moil. She embarked on a solo project as Gra­cieSouz, unveil­ing first a sin­gle called Bri­an Cox in Jan­u­ary, with the EP get­ting its release on 16th April. It is a deeply per­son­al work, dark­er in feel than we’re used to hear­ing on her work with KIN, in which she strug­gles to come to terms with the enforced soli­tary nature that the pan­dem­ic has brought about. 

Grace describes her time dur­ing lock­down and the nar­ra­tive behind the new work: “It made me think about myself, what my place as a young woman in this world is but also how trapped and lone­ly I was feel­ing at the time. How I would ide­al­ly like to escape from every­thing for a while. Dream­ing became a main theme as it was a means to escape even if I was­n’t able to phys­i­cal­ly go anywhere.” 

She con­tin­ues, “The tracks all acknowl­edge this, I think, but explore dif­fer­ent moments with­in those thoughts, I see them as being chap­ters from the same book. The jour­ney from the first track, Bound, which is about wom­an­hood and ques­tion­ing where you are and what’s expect­ed through to the finale, Bur­ial, which is plac­ing your­self with­in the big­ger pic­ture, your over­all respon­si­bil­i­ty and choices.’

Dream­ing became a main theme as it was a means to escape

The first track, Bound, is a pow­er­ful track with its dra­mat­ic, icy synths, trib­al drum­beats and Grace’s soar­ing vocals. In keep­ing with the trib­al ele­ments, there is an earthy, folk ele­ment to this song. A dark, moody qual­i­ty per­me­ates not just this track, but the rest of the EP too. Bur­ial con­jures up a land­scape laid waste, synths and per­cus­sion evoke a world in tur­moil. Bet­ter in Space is a per­son­al but uni­ver­sal expres­sion of these unusu­al times in which feel­ings of dis­con­nec­tion and intro­spec­tion surface. 

The EP is pro­duced and with addi­tion­al music by exper­i­men­tal elec­tron­ic pro­duc­er Alexan­der Comana (Miedo Total, Casi Wyn) and mixed and mas­tered by Nicholas Alexan­der (Min­i­mal Ani­mal, Bat­tles, Dead Slow Hoot).

Bet­ter in Space EP by Gra­cieSouz is out on 16th April
Grace de Souza

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