Review: Grace Vanderwaal’s “Clearly”

Natalie Taylor, Layout

After her debut studio album, Just the Beginning, and the announcement of her upcoming tour with Imagine Dragons, Grace Vanderwaal has come back with another hit song.

The 14-year-old artist won season 11 of America’s Got Talent, and in 2016, released a debut EP called Perfectly Imperfect.

Vanderwaal’s new song is called “Clearly” and is a reimagined version of Johnny Nash’s 1972 track “I Can See Clearly Now.” The song was released on March 30, accompanied by a music video shot in Grace’s hometown of Suffern, NY.

In the video, Vanderwaal fights a storm and escapes a dark, dusty room while rejecting makeup to cover her flaws. She leaves the house and goes outside where it is bright and sunny. Vanderwaal belts the rest of the song as she stands outside of the house with a gospel choir behind her. The video portrays the song well, leaving you with a sense of relief as the chaotic rainstorm has stopped and the sunshine appears.

The song itself starts off with sounds from the rainforest and acoustic guitar. These sounds help you get a feel of the music. With Vanderwaal playing her guitar with the choir in the background, this song is as far as it can be from Nash’s original song.

However, she does Nash’s original justice. Vanderwaal’s voice brings a raw emotion to the song that helps the lyrics greatly. The lyric changes help her reach out to her younger audience, as she talks about taking on “rain storms” in life and accepting them.

Vanderwaal will be opening for Imagine Dragons on their EVOLVE tour. The two will stop by at HersheyPark Stadium on June 16, 2018. Tickets for Hershey can be found on Ticketmaster.

“My new single ‘Clearly’ is about hope, and having the courage to face the world which can be pretty tough sometimes,” said Vanderwaal in a interview with Vents magazine.

“My favorite lyric from the song is ‘I accept all the things that I cannot change,’” said Vanderwaal, “As much as we try to change ourselves, we will always be the same person deep down. We should embrace what makes us different and love that about ourselves.”

The music video for Grace Vanderwaal’s “Clearly” was released on March 30, 2018. Vanderwaal is touring this summer with Imagine Dragons.

Vanderwaal’s Instagram video for her cover of “I Can See Clearly Now” was published on March 30, 2018.  Vanderwaal and Imagine Dragons will perform at HersheyPark Stadium on June 16, 2018.