Canadian singer/songwriter Molly Grue has made an impressive beginning to her ‘introspective melancholic rock’ career. But Molly Grue is only part of the story, being just one alter-ego of a three-pronged musical personality.
As she explains: “I’m a bit eclectic when it comes to my songwriting, so I ended up with a catalogue that bounced around genre-wise. My last album (under Krista D) came across like a mixed tape. That’s when I realised that people usually purchase an album after hearing a specific track and they often expect, and prefer, to have an entire album reflect that style, as opposed to being bombarded by variety. So, in an attempt to organise myself, I’ve broken up my music into 3 projects: Krista D, Molly Grue and Hooha and the Peter Guns.”
It’s therefore clear that Molly (real name Krista Acheson) is far from your average musican. Indeed, as she tells us: “The most challenging thing is that I don’t write sheet music or play most of the instruments I compose for. I compose by ear and then write down the chords or try to communicate the lines vocally.
“What happens is I either come across musicians who only read sheet music, with no ear training, or musicians who do read chords, and can play by ear, but feel compelled to change what I am giving them based on their own preferences.”
Her brand of engaging rock may come across upbeat at first listen, but there’s a darkness looming underneath. As she tells us: “This is a project I use for venting personal emotions on topics such as abuse and mental illness. It’s just female fronted soft rock, so I’m not breaking any molds in that regard, but where I don’t have any specific artist I’m trying to emulate, and am not working with a producer to make it fit the current pop/rock landscape, I think it manages to sound both familiar and dissimilar, concurrently.”
First single Anyway opens up with light guitar that continues through a chilled out opening verse that bursts into a more angsty chorus. It gradually increases in rockiness through to a big, busy outro led by Molly’s engaging vocals then big stabbing low-tuned guitars to close. Check it out below:
While most recent single O Dymphna! (Stepped Over) goes for the rockiness from the off in an edgy opening verse. That feeds into a delicious, energetic chorus with a cool guitar riff mimicking the vocal melody of the lyrics that begin: “So stepped in, Stepped over, Look like I’m a pushover, Situation kinda took me over when I knew me and you were sober, Let you in again and again…” The energy continues through to a quiet section of high-pitched vocals, which ends on a big wail and gives way to a burst of angsty vocals and guitars that bring the track to an end. Give it a listen below:
Molly also has her own record label, Loose Lamb Records, which she refers to as her ‘vanity label.’ As she explains: “Since I do almost everything on my own – times three – I figured it might make sense to have a ‘label’ to house all of my projects under. If I ever find any great success, with any of my projects, I may convert it into an actual label in order to help other like-minded people, but for now it’s simply a place to keep all my projects together. I’ll try to give it more of a presence once I’ve completed all three projects. I’ve only released my Krista D EP through it so far.”
And on that topic, she also has interesting views on where the music industry is at, telling us: “The music industry is entirely business, which I dislike, but here I am still releasing music trying to be a part of it – so I guess you could say I’m ambivalent. I’m not crazy about how it functions: manufacturing music, contriving acts, and then putting a tremendous amount of branding/marketing and advertisement in order to make money back on their investment. It just feels like it lacks creative integrity and feels ‘too business,’ I guess.
“Regardless, the industry only churns out what makes it a profit… so everything it is, is a reflection of the listeners and where they put their money. If there would ever be a change in the industry, as a whole, or for the sake of new bands, it would have to begin at the listener level – they have more control than they realise.”
The Molly Grue live show sounds like an intriguing prospect. As she tells us: “I played a show with my Krista D material a few months back and it had great sound, great lights. Where I was having a frustrating time finding musicians to back me, I made band shirts for some mannequins, hung instruments on them and performed karaoke style. It was pretty awesome.”
While on her approach generally, she says: “My creative process is extremely basic: a song pops into my head, seemingly out of nowhere, and then I jot it down and do my best to work out the instrument parts. Then I start the process of trying to find musicians.”
Not content with managing three musical personas, outside of music you’ll find her spending her time as a visual artist, painting and sculpting.