With her debut outing, Grace Lightman has done the seemingly impossible.
Pop music has seen its fair share of songs consumed by heartbreak. In the face of them all, however, ‘Vapour Trails’ still somehow manages to sound fresh and potent rather than stale and overwrought.
It’s all the more surprising considering that Lightman employs the most traditional of confessional songwriting tools: echoing piano chords, tender vocals and ringing guitar lines.
But the distinctive delivery makes it all feel so hugely involving, as though it’s a widescreen drama smeared with her own tears.
Its power derives paradoxically from its restraint, which is framed by San Felu’s production. Cavernous and sparse, it sees Lightman trapped in a large empty chamber where the magnifying glass is fixed firmly on her heartbreak.
All in all, despite her roots being in psych-rock, with ‘Vapour Trails’ Grace Lightman has made a valuable contribution to a longstanding pop tradition.
Words by Chris Haywood
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