EP review: Zoe Graham – Gradual Move

Glasgow-based musician Zoe Graham’s newly released EP Gradual Move combines lyrically captivating tracks with a new, for the artist, electronic pop sound. This four-track EP is structured as a chronological journey of nostalgia, healing and acceptance of the changes life brings, both good and bad. It’s a bit of a triumph: Graham has created an incredibly relatable, emotionally mature, and reflective collection of songs.

As Zoe herself says: ‘Each track marks one of these emotions and tells a story of how changes in my life have affected me, and how I have now accepted them as part of the overall story.’ A particularly relevant message, as we all try to come to terms with this new covid-skewed world.

The influence of some of Graham’s favourite artists, Christine and the Queens and St. Vincent to name two, can be heard both in the production and emotionally bare lyrics – artists whose work is used as a gentle touchstone rather than as a template.

EP opener and bona-fide mid-tempo pop banger ‘Gradual Move’ documents the transition from adolescence to adulthood, holding on while letting go, and pinpoints Graham at a creative and personal crossroads. It’s perfectly made for playing loud while driving away from the sunrise.

‘Sleep Talking’ is the most straightforward of the four tracks: it sneaks in with its low-tempo groove, featuring some luscious vocoder work and a chorus that will find a way to haunt your days. ‘Know by Now’ is, much like ‘Gradual Move’, a widescreen pop gem. It’s epic in all the best ways. All verses lead inevitably to its endorphin-hugging chorus.

‘Fault Lines’ starts off relatively low key, before everything kicks into gear come the first chorus. The outro is mind-montage inducing bliss. Gradual Move should be all over daytime radio. It’s a brilliant collection of sparkling pop songs delivered with the softly expressed confidence of someone who knows she’s getting it done.

Gradual Move is out now via A Modern Way and is available to stream, as well as to purchase on special gold vinyl from Zoe’s Bandcamp.


This article was first published in the October 2020 issue of SNACK magazine. You can read the full magazine below on your smartphone, tablet, or pc.

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