The last four years have seen Grace Potter going through a lot of changes. Her marriage to drummer Matt Burr ended. She got married to Eric Valentine and became a mother. With all of that going on, it’s understandable that she’s been rather quiet on the musical front. When Potter returned to writing, it’s inevitable that all these changes provide a rich vein of inspiration. Daylight is Grace’s most personal album to date, and a return to rootsier rock and soul sound after her flirtation with pop on her last album Midnight.
How a person deals with adversity tells you a lot about them. Going by the songs that deal with her break up with Matt Burr, Grace Potter is an incredibly compassionate and kind person. “Shout it Out” is a break up song encouraging her partner to “shout it out. If you know this is the end. I don’t love your ain’t something you say under your breath.” The Philly Soul infused “Back to Me” confesses “I don’t know what you need, but I really don’t think it’s me.” The smoldering, gospel inspired, “Release” is all raw emotion and exposed nerves. Potter sings with her voice almost cracking, “I release you, from the darkness… I hope that someday the sun will shine again and you’ll release me too.” These break up songs show an unusual level of compassion for the person being left behind. The countrypolitan ballad, “Repossessed” feels like Patsy Cline inverting “Crazy” into a break-up song.
Breaking up is hard, but it opens up new possibilities. “Every Hearbeat” talks about falling deeper and deeper in love. I suspect that she’s singing about both her new husband, Eric Valentine and her son, Sagan. Daylight opens with the reflective, meditative, “Love is Love” and ends with the rousing, bluesy title track “Daylight”. Both songs celebrate new beginnings and the transformational power of love.
As I mentioned earlier, Daylight is a welcome return to form for Potter. The album was recorded, for the most part, live in the studio. That immediacy and intimacy comes through in Grace’s performance. Lucius provide exceptional harmony vocals on several tracks and Benmont Tench does his magic on organ. Welcome back, Grace. See you on the road in 2020.