DT: FEBRUARY 24, 2022
FM: KELLY WALSH, MITCH SCHNEIDER/ SRO PR
DEBUTS INTIMATE NEW SINGLE/MUSIC VIDEO
IN ADVANCE OF FEBRUARY 25 RELEASE
DUE MARCH 18
VIA BLACKBIRD RECORD LABEL
PRE-SAVE “LITTLE GIRL” VIDEO HERE
“A little too tall
A little too thin
A little too scared to look within
Well, I don’t blame you”
—MacKenzie Grant, “Little Girl”
“I wrote this song as a message to my younger self,” says Nashville-based singer, songwriter and musician MacKenzie Grant about “Little Girl,” the third single from her upcoming album WONDER WORLD due out March 18.Ahead of the track’s release this Friday, February 25 (pre-save it here), MacKenzie has today (2/24) premiered the intimate music video for “Little Girl” via YouTube HERE. It was filmed at her home and the beautiful Ellington Agriculture Center in Nashville, by her 13-year-old son Bram who co-directed it with her. Read a Q&A with MacKenzie on “Little Girl” and its music video below.
After taking a 15-year hiatus from the music industry–during which time MacKenzie worked as a school counselor in a high-poverty and high-trauma preschool–she has returned with her transformative sophomore effort WONDER WORLD via BlackBird Record Label. Produced and engineered by Phil Dubnick, the self-penned album highlights MACKENZIE’s classically trained background featuring her on vocals and piano while featuring accompaniment from Josh Kaler on pedal steel guitar on various tracks. Its lyrics stem from her experience working as a counselor covering deep themes such as self-reckoning, feminine empowerment and overcoming negative mindsets.
MacKenzie debuted the album’s first single “Putting Down Some Things” in January via Americana Highways which wrote: “Grant’s songwriting is informed by witnessing a wave of these elements of the human experience, and the gentle easiness of her vocals helps to soothe the soul.” This was followed by her sharing a cover of Joni Mitchell’s timeless single “Borderline” earlier this month which Americana UK praised stating, “Grant’s version of the song is beautiful; the exquisite melody is delivered in her clear, pure voice.” Elsewhere, in an album review in the March issue of Music Connection, Eric Harabedian praises the “cache of touching and well-crafted tunes. The album is about truth telling and shedding personal conflict (‘Memo To My Sister’ and ‘Little Girl’) with hypnotic, compelling and dreamy sonic landscapes. ‘Turn the Other Way’ explores the end of a relationship, with a rhythmically dense and jazzy lilt. ‘Coffee and Wine’ and the uplifting ‘Putting Down Some Things’ are emotionally charged and lyrically astute.”
Pre-save WONDER WORLD in advance of its March 18 release here:
Credit: Bram Fairhead
MacKenzie Grant Q&A
There is a looming undertone to the lyrics that alludes to overcoming trauma or abuse with lines such as “You know that nothing bad lasts for very long” and “Cause the darkness is so deep, And so killing, And the devil takes your hand, And you go willing, And he f*cked up so bad, That you are coming undone.” Can you elaborate on the intention behind these lyrics?
MacKenzie: “I wrote this song as a message to my younger self. When I became a parent, I was able to see myself as a child with more compassion. I experienced abuse throughout my childhood that I internalized as me being deserving of, that it was happening because I was inherently not any good. As a parent, I was able to see through having my own children that no child is deserving of those circumstances. But most children take responsibility and ultimately blame themselves.”
Throughout the song you are speaking to “Little Girl” and trying to portray wisdom for the future. The lyrics repeat the question “what are you running from?”. If the ‘little girl’ could respond, what do you think she would say?
MacKenzie: “I actually started running at a young age. I would leave my house and just run for a while. At the time it was to get away from what was happening and to feel like I had some power to escape for a while. So, I started physically running to get away from emotional pain pretty early on. But then as an adult, I was running psychologically from pain for years. I left relationships, friendships, etc. when I felt my past pain catching up with me. I felt so responsible for my abuse that I would end things or walk away because I ultimately didn’t believe I was deserving of them.”
How do you feel this song will resonate with those that suffered trauma in their childhood?
MacKenzie: “There is a loneliness and isolation to abuse. When you are experiencing it, there is shame around being the abused. Most people blame themselves and don’t reach out for help because they are embarrassed that it’s even happening. Understanding the difficulty and stigma around being open about what survivors experience, often times hidden from everyone else, is really important. Many of us have had to keep secrets and hold on to that responsibility when we never should have. Letting others know that you can get to the other side of it, understand more clearly what happened, and forgive yourself for how that abuse has affected your life and your choices is something I wanted to share with others. I think it helps to connect people experiencing that isolation that comes from childhood abuse.”
Noting your past experience as a grief counselor working with children in high poverty & trauma areas, can you share how that may have influenced or inspired this song?
MacKenzie: “I have always felt a strong connection to the most vulnerable people in our society, children being at the top of that list. I was a child with a lot of privilege who experienced a lot of trauma. The children I worked with had in many ways so many more obstacles and disadvantages that I often didn’t see my experience as even in the same ballpark. But trauma is trauma. It was really in working with these kids that I started to see my experiences as just as valid and needing of processing as theirs.”
Where was the video filmed and who directed it?
MacKenzie:“The outdoor shots were filmed at the Ellington Agriculture Center in Nashville, close to where I live. My son, Bram, who was 13 at the time, did the filming and co-directed it with me.”
Why do you feel the footage of you walking in this rural location illuminates the song’s emotional heart?
MacKenzie: “The landscape of the park was perfect in that with it being winter, the trees almost look like skeletons. It is a very quiet, contemplative, and healing place. That experience of being in such a raw, beautiful, isolated and stripped-down place is much like the emotional experience of living with and honoring the experience of abuse.”
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