‘Design EP’: Grace Mitchell Is Still The Best New Indie-Pop Star You’re Not Talking About (Yet)

Back in the summertime (during peak summertime sadness), I wrote about Grace Mitchell, a 16-year-old singer-songwriter who, just for the sake of a brief re-introduction, sounds like the American answer to Lorde — not so much because of the sound of the music, but because she too is a promising, sophisticated-sounding young siren.

Grace, who describes her sound as “progressive-indie experimental pop” inspired by the ’90’s and ’90’s, as well as contemporary indie and pop (I would just call it “good music”), first got her start at just 12 years old while working in a neighbor’s home studio. Following a feature on the Secret Life of Walter Mitty soundtrack last year, she began putting out a few tracks earlier this year, including “Broken Over You” and “Your Design” — both of which blew me away, not only because of the forward-thinking production, but the impressive lyricism as well.

But where does all that come from? “I tend to write about circumstances I observe regularly, often about myself, or other people, or the inanimate,” she told me. “Lots of my music is inspired by real life events. However, being vulnerable and talking about real circumstances can be overwhelming, so sometimes it’s easier to write about fictitious situations.”

At the time, she’d only had those two songs knocking around on Soundcloud. But since then, she’s quietly dropped her incredible debut EP Design in mid-October, which deserves all of your attention. (Also, Hippie Sabotage did a banging remix of “Broken Over You,” so, that also helps.)

Along with the two previously mentioned songs, the EP includes starry-eyed opener “Runaway,” a good ol’ us-against-the-world anthem that plays as dreamy as the lyrics suggest. “Why don’t we runaway? Nothing else matters anyway,” she suggests above slow-tripping beats and otherworldly strings. There’s also the romantic “Always & Forever,” which supplies a quicker pulse complimented by surf guitar rhythms and breathy melodies, conjuring subtle traces of Lana Del Rey and Sky Ferreira. “Me and you, always and forever/Perfect weather, faded leather,” she soothingly croons.

These songs are all pretty major — made all the more impressive given the fact that this only just Grace’s debut.

What’s next? Good question: “Eventually a full length album so…stay tuned?” she says.

Stay tuned we shall.

‘Design EP’ was released on October 14. (iTunes)

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