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Matty Grace Burns Bright in the Face of Darkness

The Ottawa-based punk rocker shares a heartfelt collection of acoustic tracks.

by Leslie Ken Chu

Matty Grace is a constantly moving force. The Ottawa-based musician’s torrent of creativity has spawned an endless scroll of bands, among them hardcore duo G.R.O.S.S., garage punks Crisis Party, and pop punks Cluttered. Her latest release pairs a new EP, The Breakdown of Progress, with 2021’s four-song Dysphoria City Limits and documents her ongoing efforts to wrestle free of constraints.

Urgency propels both EPs like Grace needs to expel the songs from her heart. Impassioned vocals and rapid guitar strums fuel the all-acoustic songs, half of which fall under two minutes in length. They burn bright in the face of darkness: on Dysphoria City Limits, Grace battles anxiety and feeling misaligned with her body she was born into. She sings of “forever disassembling my tattered parts” on Breakdown’s “Tangled in Strings” before lamenting feeling “stuck on the tarmac,” stalled in a holding pattern, on “YOW YHZ YOW.”

Though Grace sings of “waiting for forever to come this way” on “Transient Passings,” she does anything but wait. Grace is always setting her mind to new projects and breaking free of her own limits as she hurls towards the future, even if it’s just sitting in the relative silence of an acoustic set to let her feelings linger.