I didn't know much about Gracie and Rachel on first hearing "Only A Child." There's a terrific tension in the sound, an underpinning of mystery set against a baroque, but modern, pop foreground. Then I discovered that Gracie Coates and Rachel Ruggles seemingly embody the schism I heard in their song — Rachel's dark, classic violin is set against Gracie's more upbeat pop piano.
Gracie and Rachel are two high school friends, now living in New York writing songs and seemingly filled with hope. Gracie wrote to tell me that this song was inspired, however, by a moment of doubt.
"It was this notion of going in circles, trying to move forward but constantly feeling like I was right back where I'd started. Ultimately, I realized I'm only a child, once again. And maybe that's okay. It's something Rachel and I work to speak to on the entirety of the album, this idea that it's okay to not have it all figured out. The record is one giant note to self to quit suppressing anxiety and start celebrating it for the beauty it can be in you. That's where 'Only A Child' means a lot to us — at the end of the day, we're all just children who have to grow up and if we can remember that, we might be a little more forgiving and at peace."
"I'm moving my mouth but I don't say a word
My ears are open but nothing is heard
I'm only a child, only a child"
Gracie wrote the words and the melody while Rachel did the core instrumentation. The child is a dear friends daughter who Gracie said "Whenever she's around we are reminded of who we are at the core, vibrant and enlivened by the world around us."
The video was directed by Brooklyn based director Chris Boniello. Gracie and Rachel's debut self-titled album is out June 23.