GRAE's 'Permanent Maniac' Shows Just How Sophisticated Bedroom Pop Can Be
Published Aug 26, 2020On her second EP, Permanent Maniac, Toronto bedroom pop up-and-comer GRAE plays with an overarching theme of infatuation. Every song depicts a lover who is unattainable in a different way, whether through distance, a failure to let go, or celebrity. She displays this longing as both her own and something that many have experienced in their early adult bedrooms.
In the music video for the title track, she daydreams and plays guitar in her apartment decorated with memorabilia and trinkets. She's upfront about her love for the one she "met on the radio," and doesn't make it a secret that she's probably writing about Robert Smith. Not-so-subtly showing off her "Just Like Heaven" ankle tattoo while putting on her shoes, she returns to the curly black-haired mystery man in her notebook. "2725" outright calls the Cure by name, showing that GRAE isn't afraid to be referential and honest about her influences.
The lush guitars which switch between chorus-filled jangle and more melancholic new wave, matching GRAE's airy, soft vocals extremely well. In the same vein as Alexandra Saviour, she proves that bedroom pop and lo-fi don't have to be synonymous, as the production is sultry and sophisticated without any pretentious undertone. This allows her emotionally honest lyrics to shine through. Through her vulnerability, she flaunts her femininity and infatuation as points of identity and strength. In an era where many twentysomethings are making their own music from their home studios, GRAE knowingly embraces the clichés of bedroom pop not only by making them her own, but being proud of them. (Independent)