Let’s Talk About: Grace Mitchell

The 16 year old Portland native covered Hall & Oates’ “Maneater” in 2013. This was a move that tossed her into the music scene, relatively out of the blue. Now with a 4-track EP and comparisons to Lorde, Grace is going to be a force to reckon with in 2015. I promise you. Dope synth-pop tracks. Absolutely mesmerizing.

My Q&A With: SPEAK


SPEAK from the band’s Facebook page

Many aspire to create the perfect mix of percussive rhythms, engaging lyrics, punchy guitar riffs, bold baselines, electric beats, and honeyed vocals when trying to put together an album. With their sophomore album, Pedals, Troupe, Jake, Nick, and Joey of the band SPEAK accomplish just that. SPEAK manages to capture the perfect pairing of natural musical performance and electronic accompaniment, reflecting a band set to trail-blaze through today’s music scene. Impressive tour stops and touring partners under their belt, SPEAK is gaining momentum at a rapid pace. Troupe from the band answered some questions about the band’s experiences thus far, and it appears the best is yet to come.

You recently performed at Firefly Music Festival in Delaware. What was that experience like?

 Absolutely insane… we were planning on attending the festival as fans and were added as performers at the last minute.  Our show was great, and the lineup was packed with friends so we got to watch and hang out with some of our favorite bands and favorite people.  The Cage the Elephant show was the best live performance any of us had ever seen, hands down.

The band’s sophomore LP, Pedals, was just released. How do you feel your sound has progressed or evolved from the last album?

 It’s hard to pinpoint specific ways in which the sound has evolved… I feel like there’s been a tremendous amount of evolution across the board but we didn’t set out to change anything — we just took the time to let things progress naturally.  Sonically I think there’s more complexity, a greater diversity of sounds.  Lyrically I think there’s a wider array of subject matter.  In terms of arrangement we let the album breathe a lot more.  Overall the record is more true to our vision as a band since we worked without a producer this time around.  

On your Facebook page, it’s listed that your musical influences are Peter Gabriel and Kanye West, a very interesting pairing. In what ways do they influence you?

 Haha!  Don’t forget Blur too.  I wanted to pick three artists who cover a really wide spectrum since we have fairly diverse tastes as a band.  Obviously I realize all these artists are still within the realm of pop music, but despite the fact that they occupy distinct aesthetic niches sonically or musically I think they’re all approaching music the same way.  Think about the progression between Genesis, Solsbury Hill, and Sledgehammer.  Or Parklife, Song 2, and Good Song.  Jesus Walks, Coldest Winter, I’m In It.  All these artists are pushing themselves and exploring new approaches to making music.  That’s what I really look for when I think about iconic acts.

The band just wrapped up touring with Gemini Club and The Griswolds. What has been your favorite memory from touring and life on the road thus far?

 I have to say it’s probably the USA vs Portugal game we watched in the artist area at Firefly.  Gemini Club and The Griswolds were there, along with Wild Cub, Dan Croll, Haerts, and others.  So we had musicians from three continents there all supporting the US.  When Dempsey scored to put the USA ahead people went absolutely INSANE.  It was pretty euphoric.  Still disappointed we didn’t win, but I’ll definitely cherish the memory of that game.

What is in store for the future of SPEAK?

 We’re doing our official album release party in Austin July 5th.  The only other announced date is Voodoo Festival in New Orleans (which we’re incredibly stoked about).  Stay tuned 😉

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