There are way too many good singer-songwriters in the Scottish scene to count, but Zoe Graham certainly ranks among the finest that the country has on offer.
My introduction to her come through the 2018 Scottish Alternative Music Awards when she was nominated for Best Newcomer. From there, I checked out her Hacket & Knackered record which was awfully good. Ultimately she didn’t win, but she rightfully got her recognition the following year when she nabbed the Best Acoustic award.
A lot of buzz has surrounded Zoe as of late, with a lot of attention and praise being thrown her way, and this in turn meant hot anticipation for her new EP – Gradual Move – and as soon as it landed, it became clear that all the hype was in fact justified.
The title number is up to begin with, sauntering at a pleasingly easy-going speed, reeling you in and having you happily sway back and forth calmly. Meanwhile, Zoe displays her first round of vocal chops, and her voice is equally as fresh as it is captivating, cinching your full upright attention as you take in the emotional weight of her words.
A similar vibe is present in Sleep Talking, oozing with this warm and pretty atmosphere elicited from not only, again, Zoe’s beautiful harmonies, but the pleasant piano work and the stylish production.
Following that is Know By Now, perhaps the highlight of the lot. It’s just such a perfect song, with an enjoyably flowing melody, a tight beat, and an absolutely fantastic chorus with a heck of a strong hook, and Zoe’s singing hits an excellent, well-versed peak here. To put it short, if this doesn’t convince you, then I couldn’t think what would.
And finally is Fault Lines, which has the most distinctively peppy kick to it, and as such, it makes for a fun and jaunty conclusion with its merry rhythm intertwined with the great lyrics.
It was a long and tricky process putting it all together and eventually releasing it to the world, but Zoe Graham’s patience and perseverance has paid off. Gradual Move is a beautiful assortment of effectively inspiring tracks constructed meticulously with various layers that, as a whole, make a firm and lasting impact on the listening audience.