Singer-songwriter Grace Morrison’s new album Daughter features Austin City Limits Hall of Famer Lloyd Maines (father of Natalie Maines of The Chicks) and was produced by Jon Evans, longtime bassist for Linda Perry, Tori Amos, Paula Cole, Chris Cornell, and Sarah McLachlan, among others. The album is a 12-song collection that Morrison says, “The thing about this record that keeps making me chuckle is that the idea started as ‘Let’s make a 5 song stripped-down EP….really reinvent myself; but it turned into a fully-produced 15 song too long record, and wound up as 12 country songs.”
We’re pleased to premiere the Official Music Video for Grace Morrison’s single “Daughter,” the title track from her album of the same name. Daughter
Tell us about the inspiration for your new single, “Daughter,” from your upcoming EP with the same name.
This song is all about dropping emotional baggage. I spent far too many years of my life (read: until maybe a year ago) trying to fit myself into a mold, whether it be what my dad thought I should be as an artist, or who my church thought I should be as a person, or the very naive me who could only find validation if I had a love interest. The gift of 2020 was that I was left with my own brain for hours at a time. There was nobody left to hide behind musically. And it was in that solitude (or as much solitude as the mom of a toddler and stepmom to teenage girls can get) that I finally found MY voice and decided that carrying around everybody else’s expectations was far too heavy and frankly was soul-sucking. In what feels like a pretentious statement for me, I’d like to say, “Daughter” very much feels like a rebirth.
The video is so beautifully produced, and Georgia Rose Hadley is so adorable. What was it like filming the music video for this song?
Filming this video was actually really emotional in a number of ways. Firstly-wardrobe. I’m not sure that Bryan Dos Reis (the director) knew that fashion would be a sensitive issue, but after over a year sitting at home in sweatpants and crocs, I didn’t have any dresses that fit his vision. And frankly, finding clothes that fit has always been a struggle. I think I speak for most women when I say that the fashion industry and pop culture give unrealistic expectations for what a woman should look like. I can remember being ten and unable to buy jeans because my body just didn’t conform to the sizing at the time. It did a number on my psyche. You can go back and look at my social media from April, and you’ll see ridiculous pictures of me in horrible dresses. I was making a joke of it, but it was really heartbreaking to try dress after dress and have nothing fit. FINALLY, I found a clearance prom dress (I feel like I need a prize for buying a $700 prom dress for $99) that fit the bill.
Nerd alert warning: I love history. I worked at a Renaissance Faire. As a child, my playtime essentially consisted of me pretending to be a pilgrim. And the best job I ever had was being the tour guide of my hometown museum. It’s a house museum called the Fearing Tavern—the oldest part was built in 1690, and not only does it house some of the most important artifacts of Wareham’s history, but it speaks to the War of 1812 (and the attack on Wareham, which I imagine isn’t in most history books). So obviously we had to film there! The piano scenes and shots of me looking out of a window were filmed at the museum. (History buffs: it’s an 18th-century square piano).
Georgia was amazing! She is my son’s cousin, and this video is her acting debut. Extra props to her because a horse stepped on her foot during the first scene of the day, and she powered right through.
PS—bring extra sunblock. Always. Even if you feel rushed and it’s a cloudy day. This pale-skinned gal put sunblock on in the morning. Note my lack of sunburn in the shots in the field vs. the pink tint in every other scene. Poor Bryan spent too much time trying to tone down the red of the burn, haha. And I now sport some really weird tan lines.
Who/what were some influences when it came to writing the song?
The Chicks, hands down. My dad was desperate to get me to be a country singer when I was a kid, and the first country album he got me to listen to was The Chicks’ live record Top of the World Tour. Pretty darn cool to me that Lloyd Maines (Natalie Maines’ of The Chicks dad) played pedal steel on the song!
I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention that Lori McKenna was a pretty big influence on this. The first song I wrote for this album was “Just Loving You,” which Lori and I wrote in her basement. This was the second. Writing with her flipped the script for me in a lot of ways as an artist, and I don’t think any of the songs on this record (especially “Daughter”) would exist without Lori’s influence.
And then I’ll date myself and let you know that Hanson has been and will continue to be a big part of my musical life. It was their first record that gave me the “aha!” moment-realizing that my classical piano skills could be translated into songwriting.
Lastly, I don’t want to forget Shawn Mullins. I had been a casual fan for a number of years, and then he invited me to open for a run of shows. My goodness gracious, he is an amazing writer. He can just spin a story and pull you right on in like a warm shot of whiskey. It’s one of those times as an artist where you think, “Ok, I’ve gotta go home and get better now,” because he raises the bar when you don’t realize the bar could get higher.
The opening line and guitar riff came to me on tour in Feb 2020. We were driving through the part of Texas that’s just a long straight highway with nothing but the smell of oil. It was like having a song stuck in your head, but it drove me nutso because all I had was “when I was young, I was the good Lord’s daughter.” When we eventually happened upon a Sonic, we sat in the parking lot until I at least had the first verse. So this song also reminds me of Sonic’s Cherry limeade.
Any cool/funny/interesting stories from making the video?
When I wrote this song, and every time I sing it, I’m transported to my childhood home and neighborhood. We lost our home to the bank ten years ago. My parents had lived there for 30+ years. We stood in the driveway while our house was auctioned off. Neighbors who had been friends were there to bid and/or stare. It was awful, and perhaps the most traumatic experience in my life. But I knew that I wanted this song and video to bring me home. The neighborhood is a little seaside community called Parkwood Beach—it’s one of those places that houses generation after generation of families (mine had been there since it was built in the 1920s). When we filmed the scene by the ocean, I was barely holding it together emotionally. I hadn’t been back since we lost the house. You can’t tell in the video, but the beach was packed that day. As I looked around during filming, I knew so many faces. Then I noticed a man with a beard and thought, “Oh my gosh, that’s the man who saved me from the monkey bars when I was four.” He stared right back. It was a full-on bawl session when he said, “Hey Gracie, haven’t seen you in a long time.” It was such a beautiful feeling to realize that although the “house” is no longer a place I can go to feel home, that neighborhood still finds a place for me in its heart.