Tag Archives: AGT Golden Buzzers

New Look, New Groove: Grace VanderWaal Grows Up!

Rating: ★★★★★

The world has been a dark place for the past year—probably longer. But things are finally beginning to brighten up. Grace VanderWaal has dropped new music tonight. And when I say new music, I mean that in every way possible. The song in question is called Don’t Assume What You Don’t Know. It’s as much a statement as it is entertainment. This young woman has grown up and is putting the rest of the world on notice: she’s playing for keeps!

Those who follow her on social media know she’s recently made changes to her appearance. This has caused some to question her mental state—with some even suggesting a potential drug problem. A listen to the new track will reassure those gainsayers Grace is in full control of her faculties. She knows exactly what she is doing.

Don’t Assume What You Don’t Know is a major departure from what most FanderWaals may expect from the now 17-year-old songstress. But then again, this is Grace VanderWaal we’re talking about. She has a way of surprising her fans—and her detractors. She never settles into a safe comfort zone, travelling the same old familiar path. This has served her well—and will continue to do so.

On the new song, VanderWaal steps up her game in a huge way. Her voice comes at you with attitude, swagger, and full of confidence. Her words are sharpened to a point and will not be dismissed. Perhaps they are even a shot at her critics—you don’t know this young woman at all, so sit down and shut up.

The track’s music is what really has me hyped. I downloaded the song from iTunes at midnight and have already given it multiple plays on my iPod. Catchy as hell and stuck in my head, this one. It’s a new sound, a new groove—and heavier than anything Grace has offered to this point in her career. From the raw guitar riff cutting through the heart of the song, to the funky bassline traipsing buck naked underneath, this track proves VanderWaal is not just another pop flavor of the month. It shows the world the girl can rock. I am eagerly anticipating a new album or EP this year.

 

Grace VanderWaal: New Music, New Video, New Tour!

Rating: ★★★★★

Grace VanderWaal is a busy young lady these days. The 15-year-old songstress has recently released her fourth single this year, filmed three new videos, spent part of June opening shows for Florence and the Machine, and has just kicked off her own headlining tour across the United States.

“Waste My Time” is VanderWaal’s latest single. The track is quite a departure from the indie-pop sound cultivated on her debut album, Just the Beginning. The vibe here is more in line with the synth-pop sound that is common with dozens of other singers today. That could be dangerous for a performer looking to stand out from the crowd. But it’s the voice that sets “Waste My Time” apart from everything else on the radio today. VanderWaal, simply put, is a gifted vocalist. Her tone is rich and melodic, easily identifiable within the first word or two, and carries an honesty that cannot be faked. And her lower ranges are just incredible!

If I’m being truthful, this one took a couple of listens to grow on me—though it is now on repeat on my iPod. The change in sound is something I (and other FanderWaals I’ve heard from) didn’t expect. And that’s a good thing. Grace VanderWaal will never be accused of growing predictable or complacent with her music. My two favorite bands (Led Zeppelin and Metallica) never recorded two albums that sounded alike. This is what sparks longevity with music fans. It’s what creates classic songs that generations will continue to appreciate.

The accompanying video for “Waste My Time” is quirky and funny and sweet—much like the singer herself. She wanders through an empty convenience store after stepping out of a late-night rain. The only other person in the store is a lifeless clerk named Miguel. Grace is often the brains behind, not just her music, but also the videos. I’m guessing that’s the case with this one as well.

VanderWaal is not yet a superstar—at least not on the Katy Perry/Taylor Swift/Ariana Grande level. Again, I believe that’s a good thing. She seems to be well-grounded and able to handle the success that has come her way thus far. Time is on her side. Grace VanderWaal hasn’t even hit her stride. Her best music has yet to be created. If you have the opportunity to catch her on the “Ur So Beautiful” tour, I highly recommend you do so.

 

Grace VanderWaal’s Ur So Beautiful Tour Dates

 

August 10 – Lexington, KY @ Railbird Festival
August 11 – Asheville, NC @ The Orange Peel
August 13 – Nashville, TN @ Cannery Ballroom
August 14 – Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse
August 16 – Dallas, TX @ The Granada Theater
August 17 – Austin, TX @ Emo’s
August 18 – Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live
August 21 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Van Buren
August 25 – Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory – Orange County
August 27 – Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey Theatre
August 29 – San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore
September 1 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Depot
September 3 – Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater
September 6 – Minneapolis, MN @ Varsity Theater
September 7 – Chicago, IL @ Park West
September 9 – Detroit, MI @ St. Andrews Hall
September 11 – Toronto, ONT @ The Opera House
September 13 – Boston, MA @ Royale Boston
September 14 – New Haven, CT @ College Street Music Hall
September 16 – Philadelphia, PA @ Theater of the Living Arts
September 17 – New York, NY @ Webster Hall
September 20 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
November 22-24 – San Diego, CA @ Wonderfront Music and Arts Festival