There’s a saying that floats around after relationships, personal or not, end: You can’t change how you are remembered by someone. Through time’s own self-examination, Brooklyn-based artist Kate Gratson has embarked on a soul-searching journey since her debut single “On To You.” Quickly following up with “The Girl You Knew” taken off the artist’s upcoming EP of the same name, Gratson delivers a beautiful rumination of secluded thoughts, bred from the contemporary styling of R&B, jazz, and soul.
The track mulls over acceptance, pushing forgiveness away as an option. On its first listen “The Girl You Knew” reads as an assertive confessional; a final letter of all the things left unsaid in attempt to tie up loose ends. In the guise of the throes of romance, “The Girl You Knew” circles back to Gratson. After deep mediation and removing the idea of another, the track finds itself and aptly forgives in order to capture self-love.
“‘The Girl You Knew’ was the closest I’ve come to finding my voice,” says Gratson. “I’ve been searching for a sound that feels uniquely personal, but it wasn’t until I wrote ‘The Girl You Knew’ that I knew what that sounded like.”
Classically, the track is delicate and sensual in its demeanor. Gratson’s vocals are thick with emotions but prevalent in their theory. The artist orchestrates a flawless act of control, vibrantly belting out notes and sustaining in short intervals. She skips across the electronic R&B bed and chops her own flow at times with a very modern, pop-esque delivery. This is not to outweigh the rooted and full assortment of a treasured jazz sound though. Gratson’s labor of love and precision during arrangement is a feat to not go unnoticed.
All the while, “The Girl You Knew” flickers between the smoke of an exhausted cigarette in a dim-lit lounge, rising past the static noise. It’s a beautiful snapshot of acceptance, love, and frank heart-searching times. Gratson is truly a remarkable voice and songwriter.