Graham MacRae

Graham MacRae

by Aarik Danielsen

23 June 2008


Graham MacRae takes a refreshingly unvarnished approach to his eponymous debut. The troubadour’s stripped-down, primarily acoustic folk tunes jibe musically with the sounds put forth by artists like Iron & Wine or Elliott Smith. Yet, MacRae’s unwillingness to blunt any of his rougher edges distinguish his sound; at times drums, guitars or even MacRae’s vocals cut through otherwise pastoral textures with a force that is surprising yet ultimately breathes fresh life into what might otherwise be a relatively typical singer-songwriter record. Case in point: on the tune “Forty Winks”, MacRae turns a lover’s lullaby into a creative vocal exercise, making the most of every syllable and emphasizing them to an unusual yet inventive degree. Other tracks that best indicate MacRae’s technique include “Future Days” and “Things Couldn’t Be Better.” And, just because MacRae can sound a little more gruff or bold than the average folkie doesn’t preclude him from crafting something as lilting and gorgeous as the instrumental “Wedding Wind”, which splits the album beautifully. The album is well-constructed, each song a bit different yet retaining enough common characteristics to be a complimentary part. On “Voice and Guitar”, MacRae sings of an artist who will “impact” a number of years with just those instruments; while MacRae fleshes his album out with a few other sounds, he might well be prophesying his own effect. He is an artist who sounds sure to have an impact on those who experience his work.

Graham MacRae


We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work. We are a wholly independent, women-owned, small company. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing, challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. PopMatters needs your help to keep publishing. Thank you.

//Mixed media


Stevie Wonder Takes a Knee as Green Day and Others Also Speak Out at Global Citizen Festival

// Notes from the Road

"The 2017 Global Citizen Festival's message for social action was amplified by Stevie Wonder and many other incredible performers and notable guests.

READ the article