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Grace Joyner – “Lioness”

Grace Joyner wastes no time in “Lioness,” the single she released last week: her voice begins right as you press play, at once soft but also almost indignant, as the atmospheric soundscape builds and bubbles in the background.

“I will not apologies or lower my accomplishments / To put you at ease by my side,” she sings, the frustration is rendered palpable by the clarity in her voice. Little touches throughout “Lioness” add texture: the quick strum of strings at one point, deeper backing vocals at another, and a dramatic, almost plucky bass line throughout. 

“I do the work so you can relax” and “I defended you” are lines that repeat. Joyner’s voice is undeniably beautiful as she recounts this relationship, almost triumphant at points, it seems, to no longer be in the position where she needs to defend this person.

Stream “Lioness” by Grace Joyner below.