Called “electrifying” by The Huffington Post and “phenomenal” by The New York Times, Grace McLean is a multi-hyphenate actor-singer-writer. Stephen Holden of The New York Times proclaims, “Ms. McLean’s voice [is] a flexible instrument with unexpected reserves of power… behind her playful adventurousness lies a well of passion.”
Now, with a newly-inked record deal to Meridian/ECR Music Group (Sony) and her debut full-length album My Lovely Enemy set for release in 2024, the album’s title track-single “My Lovely Enemy” is out September 14th. An accomplished performer (and recently on Broadway in Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Bad Cinderella), McLean’s songwriting has been praised as, “Savvy” by Vulture, and “Musically complex, dramatically abstract and… intensely intimate in style” by Broadway World.
Much like recording-artist contemporaries St. Vincent and Tune-Yards, McLean pursues both the visceral and intellectual on both her forthcoming debut album—and this new single. Furthermore, “My Lovely Enemy” finds McLean returning to the familiar territory of her celebrated, original musical, In the Green (commissioned by the Lincoln Center Theater), and its historical protagonist, polymath Hildegard von Bingen.
“This song is inspired by a poem of 12th-Century mystic Hildegard von Bingen, about Saint Ursula’s martyrdom,” explains McLean. “In it, Hildegard expresses gratitude to Ursula’s killers because their destructive violence gives Ursula her deepest desire which is to be united with the Divine, something she could only achieve in death. It made me see the scene of martyrdom as a marriage ceremony, and I recognized that in adjusting the frame from mourning to celebration I could imagine the joy in relenting to and accepting sacrifice or loss.”
Producer Justin Goldner adds, “There’s a thing we were going for with this track: a world that is distant in time, an artifact, that then gets pulled into the present and becomes a vivid reality. As the song builds and ultimately leads us to a ‘Wizard-of-Oz’ moment where the beat drops, the old-Hollywood strings surround us and transform into something full-color; still lush, but now, from close up, they’re more jagged and angular, more macabre.”
Mixed by Jack DeBoe (Jean Baptiste, Tyler the Creator, Yebba) and mastered by Blake Morgan (Lenny Kravitz, Lesley Gore, Janita), “My Lovely Enemy” is accompanied by a stirring short film/music video directed by Mau Quiros to be released this Autumn. Grace McLean’s debut album My Lovely Enemy will be out in early 2024 with additional singles slated for release in advance of the album launch.
Grace McLean is a Writer In Residence at Lincoln Center Theater where her first original musical In The Green was commissioned and produced, received a 2020 Richard Rodgers Award, and a Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical. McLean was awarded Best Score from the Brooklyn Film Festival in 2021, and the Black Bear Award for Best Sound (Score) at the Athens International Film Festival in 2022. She has had two artistic ambassadorships with the US State Department touring Pakistan (2015) and Russia (2018), and her band performed in both the 2015 and 2016 Lincoln Center American Songbook series. She is a recipient of the Jonathan Larson Grant from the American Theater Wing (2021) and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts’ Emerging Artist Award (2017). Grace is one of Broadway Women’s Fund’s Women to Watch (2021), a member of The Civilians R&D Group (2019-2020), and a MacDowell Fellow (2018).