HomeMusicSinger/Songwriter Tia McGraff Releases New EP

Singer/Songwriter Tia McGraff Releases New EP

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It’s a bit of confidence on display for Tia McGraff to begin her latest release With Love with its title song. It’s also an unabashed statement from the performer that says no matter how corny you think this is, how overly optimistic, this is who I am, and this is what I lead with -, my heart. A rational human being cannot help but honor such a noble soul. The EP’s release date September 3rd honors the recent passing of McGraff’s dog Jake and you hear that radiant and self-renewing love emanating from every song on the EP. The production, as well, captures the array of instruments without allowing one to overwhelm all others.

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/tiamcgraff

There is a time not so long ago when an indie artist achieving the success McGraff enjoys would be impossible. Recent decades, however, have introduced us to a bevy of artists and technological changes that have transformed an artist’s potential career trajectories. Tia McGraff has been producing handmade music under her control, writing children’s books, and doing much of her own legwork as an artist since first emerging over fifteen years ago.

You hear that intimacy in the title song. She has a specific talent, among many, for writing memorable choruses, and “With Love” takes flight with one of the EP’s best payoff moments. It sets the bar high for songwriting without ever alienating listeners; her writing is comprehensible and reaches out to the audience rather than wallowing in self-referential obscurities. The same accessibility distinguishing the opener continues in “Go Your Own Way”.

A new wrinkle, however, is the rock influence that bleeds over into McGraff’s music. It’s centered around the rhythm section and they thunder away with all the swagger and muscle of a great rock and roll engine room. Layering McGraff’s customary folkie affectations over the top makes for an even more compelling performance. It’s an example of how damn good she is that McGraff gives us songs with such blatant commercial appeal that still has ever-elusive “meaning”.

“Organic” shares this quality in an even bigger way. She pulls back from the rock and roll posturing of the earlier song in favor of an almost effervescent acoustic pop touch. Her lyrical point of view has a much more positive slant than many of her peers and contemporaries, some people may even grapple with that, but you can’t doubt her eloquence. It comes across as effortless as it always does with the best.

The effortlessness continues through to the end. “Change A-Comin’” is the hope for a better tomorrow and the certainty laden throughout the song will undoubtedly be inspiring to some. It’s a bit of a bold song, in a way, when you consider the world full of death and darkness that the news pushes every day, but it’s ultimately a matter of perspective. This song doesn’t say that outright but it’s clear that it understands that principle quite well. It’s a theme that each of the seven EP songs shares. A perspective of hope. Tia McGraff’s With Love has a perspective of hope we need to hear cradled in warmth and melody. 

Heather Savage

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