Folk N Rock
Exclusive: You’ll Find “Joy” In This New Single From Grace Pettis

Starla Dawn.

The work week has been a relentless grind, hasn’t it? The kind that leaves you feeling like you’re trudging through quicksand. But fear not, for today is a day for joy. Tomorrow marks the glorious end of the work week, and as an added bonus, it’s new music Friday. To celebrate, we’re about to unleash a sneak peek of the latest single from the award-winning singer-songwriter Grace Pettis.

So it seems the countdown is on. Grace is on the cusp of releasing “Down To The Letter,” her highly anticipated sophomore album, which follows her acclaimed debut, “Working Woman.” This album is set to drop via MPress Records next Friday, June 14th, and if you haven’t guessed it already, the song we’re about to unveil is the album’s single, “Joy.” You can pre-save “Joy” at the following link, and get a head start on experiencing the full album by pre-saving “Down To The Letter” at this link.

And I have to say, this is one of those songs that will have universal resonance, so be sure to save it. “Joy” is an amazing track from Grace that provides a sweet sound of solace and is a musical hug for your weary soul.

About the track, Grace comments:

I wrote “Joy” some years ago, at a time in my life when I was fairly depressed. I’d just moved to a new city and I was struggling to make friends and make inroads in the music scene there. I kept running into setback after setback and I missed my old life, and my old friends. It was hard to feel motivated even to get out of bed some days. “Joy” was a kind of pep talk to myself; a reminder of all the beauty in my life.

It can be hard to access gratitude when I’m down. But I try to remember that I’m extremely lucky to be alive and breathing and doing what I was put on the planet to do: to sing, write, and play. I’m not always able to get there, mentally. But when I can, I tap into a powerful fuel source.

Sometimes joy is easy. On a beautiful day when the weather is good, or on a holiday, surrounded by loved ones, it’s not difficult to feel joyful. On the days that I do my job well and am compensated well, I can tap into a sense of purpose and contentment pretty easily. Other days, joy is harder to come by. On those days when I can’t remember why I chose to do the work I do; when it seems that the cost outweighs the benefits, on those days that I feel stuck in loss and disappointment, rejection, or betrayal…those are the days when joy is a discipline and not a natural state.

Joy on those days can be a rebellious act; it can bubble up in spite of circumstance, like a dandelion in the crack of a sidewalk, or laughter at a funeral. My song, “Joy,” is a celebration of that kind of gratitude, vitality, and playfulness: the kind that is earned with intention, practice, and receptivity to the ways that life can surprise us, even on our worst days.

The brilliance of this song lies in how she transforms the age-old adage of “being grateful for what you have.” Grace doesn’t just preach gratitude here in this song, she embodies it, turning it into a wellspring of unyielding joy that transcends her circumstances.

The song’s beauty also lies in its universal appeal. We’ve all encountered those moments when depression casts its dark cloud, when life’s challenges seem insurmountable. It could be a job loss, heartbreak, a period of isolation, or simply the weight of daily monotony. In those moments, the concept of joy might feel distant, even unattainable.

On this track, Grace reminds us that joy is not dependent on external circumstances. It’s a spark within us that can be ignited even in the darkest of times. It’s a choice to find gratitude in the simple act of breathing air in and out of your lungs, one might say, or to appreciate the opportunity to pursue our passions, to recognize the beauty that surrounds us, even amidst the chaos.

She brings a great perspective that joy is not just a feeling, it’s a way of life. It’s a choice we make every day, a choice to find light in the darkness and to celebrate the gift of life, even when it feels challenging.

The track opens with a blend of distorted, grungy guitar tones shimmering alongside the warmth of an acoustic guitar. An atmospheric chiming tone adds another layer, creating an alluring ambiance. The first verse’s instrumentation and arrangement give ample space for her soulful voice to shine through with a well-timed pause, letting each line linger before the melody picks up with a few punctuating notes.

Throughout the track, her voice is joined by ethereal backing vocals, creating an almost angelic choir-like atmosphere. This heavenly chorus enhances the song’s emotional depth, while gentle horns add some uplift and expansion to the overall sound. The lines here are delivered with such intense passion that the song feels like a cathartic release, her voice a vessel for every ounce of emotion. And that’s a great way to say, you know what, I’m ok.

But it’s not just the vocal performance that conveys this depth of feeling; the arrangements themselves mirror the emotion. While the song may hint at melancholy, it ultimately feels celebratory, though not overly upbeat. This nuanced balance perfectly captures the message within the music: an assurance that even in the midst of life’s challenges, there is still a reason to find contentment and joy.

Ultimately, it’s a beautiful song about finding the light within everything when life feels heavy. You can learn to appreciate the simple things, the small things, and that can provide comfort and solace in the everyday beauty that surrounds you. There are many things hidden just beneath the surface, or literally right in front of you. And the song is a great reminder that you too can be smelling the rose that’s been under your nose this entire time.

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