Lost in a Sea of Sound
Public Speaking sparks perceptive listeners with both carefully woven melodies and insightful lyrics. These songs are delivered with the most precarious tone. Innocence with an up welling of emotion, the tracks seem to slip back and forth between tenderness and angst.
"Cut from the cloth of frustration in a year filled to the brim comes Public Speaking’s 'Grace Upon Grace.' There is quite a bit to unpack on the five-track A-side of this remarkable record. It comes preloaded with Public Speaking’s trademark soulful delivery with a bitter twist. Lyrically, Public Speaking tells the tale of demagoguery in a way that feels quite familiar (regardless of its allegorical origins). Images of crying children and great deceivers kick off “Backbone” with intent. “If we can’t agree, I’ve got three bullets for you and one for me” is in stark contrast of the crooning delivery Jason Anthony Harris is so good at.
The album is rhythmically precise, creating a swaying march across each track. Tension weights heavy even in the quieter bits as Harris musters up eerie synth lines and bleak melodies. 'Grace Upon Grace' is not a feel-good album; it’s exactly the opposite. The undeniable dystopian tone lingers onto the instrumental B-side of the record. The supporting band adds clanking guitars and horns to the mix to finish off what already feels like inescapable turmoil. Removing words and vocals leaves a meditative reprise when the tape flips, which is much needed! 'Grace Upon Grace' is a thought-provoking record that must be chewed on. The listener is left with a powerful message about times present, future, and past."