Phoebe O’Grady is a 22 year old singer and musician from Ireland. Her debut single, “When You Were the Apple”, will be released in August 2020. Although Phoebe has sung in bands, as well as on homespun recordings, this is her first serious solo work. Right from the moment you press play on this single, you get the impression that Phoebe has a knack for performing deceptively cutesy tunes with lyrics that cut like a knife. The combination of her voice and her poison-pen observations about good love gone bad, will prove enchanting for listeners. Her provocative use of expletives may just be enough to irritate mainstream radio, but not so obnoxious as to be a turnoff.
Mix this type of lyrics in with a terrific tune, and a genre-bending beat, driven by piano and strings, and you’ve got a track that is almost irresistible. Her sweet sugary voice and the bouncy, poppy inflected music masks a sharp, observant and darkly witty lyricist. She sounds as sweet as pie, but it’s clear that you wouldn’t want to piss her off in any way.
Phoebe O’Grady is a promising new artist who stands aside from all the mainstream music with her own unique style. The record brings together all those things many would like to say, but can’t quite do it in the same direct way. Her lyrics are from real life and the music gets into your head and stays there. She drops the F bomb a couple of times, but it does not take away from the sheer genius that this girl obviously possesses.
In regards to the melody, the piano is balanced by strong basslines and the use of emotion-inducing strings, to support Phoebe’s great vocal technique. In this track, the producer also made sure that the sounds are unique and the hooks stay lasting in your head.
In a music scene so barren with smart, well-produced tracks, along comes this British girl with a total twist on the pop and girl power factor. Phoebe O’Grady operates mostly in a falsetto-like tone here, as she castigates someone whose deceit has dragged her down. From the clear statement single title, to the gutsy, unguarded lyrics, you can tell Phoebe is fully in control.
On the most recognizable level, “When You Were the Apple” is about a personal relationship, but it can apply to many of our own experiences. “Broken promises my dear. Your mouth is full of shit my dear,” sings Phoebe ever so sweetly, before finally tightening the screw and exclaiming: “Fuck You.” Moreover, it’s the self-empowering confidence shown, in the face of a harsh reality that lifts the song to the next level.
“When You Were the Apple” also proves that Phoebe O’Grady knows how to succinctly capture the mood of her mind in the lyrics of her music. She takes words for what they really are – a way to convey a message, an emotion, a feeling.
On this song, Phoebe is weaving a tapestry made up of a story that’s her own, layering hear-every-breath vocals, resonant pianos and moody strings, to explore a theme about broken love. It’s been done a million times before, but hardly like Phoebe O’Grady does it here.