Last summer a new duo appeared on Guernsey’s music scene, Grace And Elliott (known separately for their work elsewhere with the likes of Track Not Found and Brunt), playing a brand of relaxed, alternative indie not so often heard with captivating versions of tracks by bands like Placebo, The New Time and others and now they’ve dropped their debut single through Magic Moustache Records that is also a highlight of their live outings, Beauty Queen.
While live the duo are comprised of a simple bass and guitar arrangement, it’s clear from the off here that they’ve added a lot to the mix creating a deeply textured track with everything from piano to saxophone finding it’s way in as the song flows mellifluously from the speakers.
As it flows it seems to tell a loosely disjointed story of youth, with an exploration of life and a seeking of belonging and acceptance that is just the right side of abstract to match the music and, unlike a lot of music exploring these themes, it’s not manic but still captures the feeling very nicely while confounds expectations in intriguing ways too.
Added to this Grace slips from English to Guernsey French in such a way that it doesn’t feel like a gimmick or something done for show but just is part of the stream fo consciousness of the song, which brings a unique touch to the track.
While the song may not have the delightful simplicity of the live version, Beauty Queen is a more than strong offering, capturing what Grace And Elliott do and expanding it in often unexpected ways to make a summery highlight of a song.