The Graes - Deep


February 11, 2022

We met CJ and Cassie in December 2020, when they released their wonderful single "Reagan's Song", a fantastic indie-folk ballad that had put stars in our eyes.  Then the adventure continued last October with their much more pop and danceable single "Figure It Out". 

So what can we expect for their 3rd feature on IMC? The answer is simple. Take the first two, and make a mixture. You get an indie-folk-tinged gem and a super catchy pop tune. Yes, The Graes continues to amaze us with each release, and their level of quality increases at a crazy speed.

"Deep" is probably one of the catchiest songs of this beginning of the year and will make you want to push the furniture to dance. Or why not grab your boss's arm and try a wild dance in the meeting room. It is up to you to measure the risks, but we cannot be held responsible. You can just say, "Hey, it's CJ and Cassie's fault."

Like Thomas LaVine, the duo comes from North Carolina (even if a four-hour drive separates them), and more precisely from Wilmington. I don't think I've ever encountered such pleasant artists, who are always open to conversation, and who are brilliant in all aspects. Whether it's their music or their philosophy, they are incredibly powerful rays of light. What allows them to reach unattainable heights in terms of quality is their desire to always see the glass half full rather than half empty: "We write about life - the good, the bad, the ugly - it's how we process, heal, and reset." And they are right. After all, life is all about steps.

Always in a good mood, with extraordinary communication skills (just see the hard work they do on their social media), The Graes have it all. It's a bit of the couple of friends that we would all like to have. And above all: they remain humble. When they reached out to us, to let us know that a new single was coming soon, they forgot to tell us that it might be one of the biggest bangers of 2022. In fact, I even suspect them of not being 100% aware of their power and talent.

I've been in the music industry for over 20 years. I worked for several radio stations, some of which were national. Which gave me the desire to create my own because I found that we did not leave enough room for quality and that we favored advertising revenues to the detriment of good music. From these 20 years of radio culture, there is a basic rule that I have learned in music programming that is essential to the success of a radio station: if a song does not present a catchy chorus before the 40-second mark, it has no chance to enter the playlist. Because if the listener is not immediately seduced by a song, the risk of skipping is great. Yes, radios talk about "risk" when it comes to unknown songs. What I turned into an advantage with IMC Radio. 100% risk-taking, 0% ads. And it works. And the strong point of "Deep", the new single from The Graes is there: the super catchy chorus starts just before the 40-second mark.

My artists are not often aware of these codes, and it is for this reason that I like to accompany them and give them my advice. But I think CJ and Cassie can do without it because they already have all the codes, whether for social media or music production. What is production? It's the way the track is built (the instruments used, the effects, the vocal harmonies...). And "Deep" is a masterpiece in this area.

The writing is absolutely great, and will lift you up if you go through bad times: "So rise up from your grave, make your great escape, you won't ever be the same". The Graes wanted to give you motivation and they succeeded. They themselves have gone through a rather dark period, as they told us: "We experienced a dark year. We had people around us that helped lift us up and we want this song to do the same for others".

Sharing is part of their nature. And they do it without forcing themselves, they are naturally radiant. And it works. At the first listen to "Deep", past the four seconds of intro, we marvel at the quality of the vocals. I listened to the song at the end of the day, and it was getting dark. It's as if the sun had come back to cancel the night and tell me "hey, it's still time to party".

The chorus made me get up from my chair and I unplugged my headphones (oops, the wire is still too short). So my girlfriend heard the song and said "wow, I love this". If a song is able to convince in five seconds, I think the artist's bet is won. She is currently Covid positive, so we are always very careful and keep our distance. So we couldn't dance together. But in a few days, we will be sure to do it! And this is precisely the message that The Graes wanted to convey:

"Sometimes life is rough. We've all been there. Life happens and you feel low, deep in the depths of despair. That darkness isn't permanent. This song is meant to help someone. This song is meant to be a song of liberation. No matter how deep you may be. An outstretched hand is waiting to pull you out."

This outstretched hand is very welcome. Let it take you away, and turn up the volume. The Graes are back in the game! And nothing could ever stop them!

Reach out to The Graes

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Written with love by Niko. You can find more songs like "Deep" on our "Indie Music" playlist on Spotify.

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