Grace Potter and the Nocturnals Throw a Musical Curveball
"Obvious is not my forté," Grace Potter tells The Boot with a laugh, when asked about her sonically diverse album with the Nocturnals, The Lion The Beast The Beat. "I take a left turn right when everybody thinks I'm going to go straight."
Or in this case, when everybody thought she was going to go country. Six albums in to her career, the self-proclaimed "hippie from Vermont" grew a whole new fanbase with her CMA award-winning Kenny Chesney duet, "You and Tequila." The immense success of the collaboration, coupled with a spot on Kenny's Brothers of the Sun tour, had a lot of people assuming that Grace -- who'd already dabbled in rock, pop, alternative and a hodgepodge of other genres -- would next try her hand at the new format that welcomed her with open arms, country music. But the 28-year-old singer-songwriter likens that idea to a "low hanging fruit" of which she was not tempted to take a bite.
The unexpected result is Grace Potter and the Nocturnals' critically-acclaimed new album that covers not only a range of musical influences but also a wide array of emotions -- track by track and within each song. The first single, "Never Go Back," which Grace co-wrote with the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach, is one of several on the project that can be interpreted many ways.
"I was gonna make it about a breakup and keep it a lovelorn, post-relationship kind of thing. But then Dan made the point that the broader you are, the more everybody is going to want to put it on a mixtape," Grace explains. "My neighbor pointed out that for him, it was about getting sober. It was a good mantra for him for not drinking and not taking pills. Then a divorced woman came up to me and