Photo by Campbell Burns
I’m just going to get straight into it and say that Grace Turner’s debut EP Half Truths is one of my favourite’s of the year. When I listened to it for the first time, on the morning of its release on August 7, I felt a little bit sad when it finished - because I didn’t want it to end. I found myself immersed and engaged with each song, just falling in love with the new song and re-falling in love with the tracks previously released over the past couple of years. I played the EP multiple times throughout that day, and each day since I've found myself going back to it.
Half Truths is the first record we’ve seen from the Newcastle singer-songwriter, which sees her sandwiching previously released singles, including 2018’s Dead or Alive and more recent Half Light, in between some newer material that introduces and concludes the EP. And to be honest, if this EP was a sandwich, it would be the eggless egg sandwich from Sweet Bones - because it’s very very good.
We’re welcomed to the release through Distain, itself opening with this clean, melodic hook that along with the rest of the band steadily grows and forms into a distorted finale. It’s a sound you’ll hear across the EP, with thunderous percussion and lightning guitars sounding fit for a stadium. This track also introduces you to some of the more darker and honest themes to the record, with reflections on the fear of death and internal conflicts lining the record as heard on the next two tracks.
And I think that’s what sells it for me - Grace Turner’s songwriting and lyrics. It’s her melodically calming vocals mixed with this sound of raw energy and emotionally-fronted words that drive this alt-folk record home. Through this blend, each song reels you in, draws your attention, and cements melodies and vocals lines in your memory.
At the thirteen-and-a-half minute mark we get the oldest song found on the record - Dead or Alive which was previously released as a single just over two years ago. It's one of the more cleaner sounding tracks, which pairs well with the theme behind this one - the indie-folk musician reflecting on her experiences with a friend calling up and checking in during hard times. It was excellent two years ago, and as Grace Turner puts it, the song has a little family now, which is pretty bloody wholesome.
Half Truths comes to an end with Forget About The World, a track that stands out from the rest through its stripped back performance and atmospheric sounds. The soothing tones to this one wrap up the album perfectly, but not without a heartbreaking conclusion through the line “It’s getting late the train’s about to go, my love if I could I’d forget about you“. So good.
There are always all these different songs and records that remind us of certain times or people or moments - a special, personalised experience you get to share with the music. And I think for me, this is one to remember this time of year by - Half Truths is made to be paired with frosty winter mornings and chilling nights in this weird world. And next winter, I’ll be sure to remember this.
I hope we hear from Grace Turner again real soon, because as you dive deep through her discography, past this record, you’ll find nothing but consistently great songs - and for that I will never not be keen for new music.