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“Shake the Earth” by Baker Grace

Atmospheric harmonies require a lot of care to convey something powerful in a pop single, and with her new single “Shake the Earth,” singer and songwriter Baker Grace proves that she has the dexterity to make them a cornerstone of her sound. There are a few key points to this track that make it feel enigmatic – the lyrics, its beat, and the melodies that bind the two, all of which are presented with a rather blunt hesitance I wouldn’t expect from such an ambitious performer. That said, it’s this hesitance that shapes the vulnerable center within the verses, which in turn becomes the most enduring part of the song.

Grace’s exquisite lyrical delivery adds to the overall postmodernity of “Shake the Earth,” but I don’t think she’s going out of her way to be artsy here. If anything, it’s the result of her meticulous arrangement of the words, which even with this beat implies an emotional potency that there’s no getting away from for the duration of the track. Timing is her best friend here, and she’s proving herself to be quite adept with execution in this single, much in a way that plenty of critics would not have anticipated.

The fluidity of the music video is truly mesmerizing, and I would even argue that were it a little choppier with its framework it might not have carried the weight of the verses as well as it does in this instance. You can tell that there’s thought going into every movement, every carefully synchronized element of the melody as it relates to what we see on screen, and yet I don’t feel as though anything is being forced into place here. That’s not the norm in this genre of music, whether you’re exploring the mainstream or the underground alike.

This is a quality master mix that gives all of the instrumental componentry equal footing in the grander scheme of things, and I appreciate the way “Shake the Earth” is structured as to give us as much bang from the backdrop as we’re getting out of Grace’s powerful lyricism. The arrangement could have just as easily produced a minimalistic feel to the song as a whole, but with the indulgent addition of these harmonies as they originate with our leading lady’s voice, there’s never a moment that sounds even remotely underwhelming to me.

2022 is ushering forth a very cerebral era in the history of pop music, and from the looks of what we’re getting in “Shake the Earth,” I would have to say that Baker Grace is more than ready for the movement ahead of her. She’s got a surreal side that is getting the lion’s share of the spotlight in this single and its companion music video, and although her focus is going to be an element of her artistry that wins over a lot of critics, it’s her cosmetic development that will wow fans this spring, starting with the success of “Shake the Earth.”

Mindy McCall



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