18-year-old singer/songwriter Baker Grace’s new single “Sad Summer” speaks to the introvert in all of us. The passing of the solstice and welcoming of longer, warmer days means more hangs with friends and trips to the beach, but sometimes you just want to be alone and that’s cool too. The technicolor, PC Music reminiscent production of the track stands in contrast to the more melancholic lyrics rooted in the lines, “Gonna be a sad sad summer, such a bummer / I could be falling in love but baby I don’t give a fuck.”
The accompanying music video seamlessly correlates to song and Grace’s strong visual sensibilities are also echoed in her fashion choices, donning pieces by San Joy, Filles a Papa, Balenciaga, and Margiela. Directed by Darren Craig (Rihanna, Brooke Candy, Hailee Steinfeld, Cher Lloyd) and shot in Los Angeles, the clip shows Grace in front of a picturesque yet intentionally contrived beach background where she looks on at Tik Tok stars Dominic Toliver, Kailey Maurer, and Kelianne while they go about enjoying sweets and selfies, unaware of Grace’s presence.
Grace says of “Sad Summer”: “’Sad Summer’ is an anthem for the people who need a break from social media, the pressure to be happy all the time, to look good all the time, and to always be doing something ‘cool.’”
The release of “Sad Summer” comes off the heels of Grace’s five-track EP, “Girl, I Know,” a concept body of work where each song corresponds to the five days of the working week and each song embodies a distinct mindset and mood.
Created with the help of Dan Nigro (Sky Ferreira) and Andy Seltzer (Maggie Rogers) on production, “Girl, I Know” is a record for popheads, sad boys, and anyone who feels they’re at a crossroads in life and looking to be heard. Grace hopes that her songs might inspire others to embrace a similar feeling of self-reliance. “I want people to come away with the confidence to really trust themselves, and realize that everyone else in the world goes through the same things they do,” she says. “Of course you’re alone in the decisions you have to make in life—but so is everyone, so in that way, there’s a strong sense of community. I’d love to help people feel that through my music.” With over a million monthly Spotify listeners, Grace’s message of self-love is clearly getting heard.
More about Baker Grace:
A New Jersey native, Grace embarked on her music career when she was just 14. Soon after releasing a 2015 album under the name Bitter’s Kiss, she was discovered by Scott Harris (a hit-making songwriter/producer known for his work with Shawn Mendes and The Chainsmokers). In collaboration with Harris, she then put out a pair of singles with Republic Records: “Am I Talking to You?” and “Day I Die.” She also teamed up with producer Ayokay, appearing as the featured vocalist on his 2017 single “Too Young”.
Growing up in Weehawken, Grace was raised on everything from Carole King to Tupac Shakur—two artists she considers formative to her own musical sensibilities. “I love how Carole King writes about all these complicated emotions but in such a simple, digestible way that anyone can connect to,” she says. “And with Tupac, and hip-hop in general, I love how there’s so much honesty—they’re saying whatever’s on their minds, in a way that seems really lacking in pop music.” Thanks to the encouragement of her father (a musician who set up his own studio in the basement of their home), Grace started writing songs as a child and quickly found that making music “allowed me to escape life, while guiding me through it at the same time.” Self-taught on piano and guitar, she centered those songs on lyrics that showed insight well beyond her years. “People tell me that ever since I was little I was never afraid to speak up, even if everyone else in the room disagreed with me,” Grace points out. “I want everyone to be able to do that, instead of being so affected by what other people think.”
Watch video here: Baker Grace – Sad Summer (Music Video)