It has been four years since Grace Potter’s last album, Midnight. With her recently released follow-up Daylight, Grace strips away most of the production and relies on her experienced voice with a touch of acoustic instruments. The stripped-down feel helps highlight the meaningful moments contained in each story. While Midnight shined with an electric guitar, Daylight is a somber sunrise that shows the beauty of getting through a dark night.
Grace’s transition from pop-rock to sentimental rock slows the album down to focus on her voice. Each line is heartfelt and delivered with a pair of lungs that seize attention as she reaches the crescendo of each song. The common thread running through Daylight is its focus on the singer-songwriter, with the band accentuating the edges of each song. Energetic or sentimental, Potter’s voice soars throughout the album and makes the whole experience worth listening to from beginning to end.
Grace Potter’s music is a reflection of her recent experiences, the breakup of her band and subsequent divorce being among the factors influencing Daylight. From the turmoil, a new marriage emerged along with the birth of her first child with these experiences shining over the rough moments. While stepping away from the spotlight, Potter continued to write songs without needing to release material on a schedule. The finished product is her strongest release to date and sounds better on repeat.
Special recognition belongs to the band Lucius who appears on four of the eleven songs on the album. “Back to Me” and “Desire” are two particular highlights that are given an added boost from the vocal harmony of Lucius’s two frontwomen. Potter leads with the Lucius duet echoing her resolve over the course of a shared chorus. The backup vocals supply a dose of cabaret that gives each collaborative song an added punch.
On the slow songs Grace’s voice serenades the listener along, but the energetic rock anthems like “On My Way” and “Daylight” really showcase the intensity of her voice. Through what can best be described as an elegant howl, Grace hits and holds those high note power ballads like a rocker riding a wave of chaotic energy while in complete control of her voice.
Daylight adds layers of experience and wisdom to Grace Potter’s already talented rocker bona fides. By slowing the pace and stripping away the electric touches, her latest album highlights her growth as a singer-songwriter who still has a deep well of creative energy to pull from.