Manu Grace will release No Room for Error, her sophomore EP available October 16 via Platoon. With a bold unlocking of freedom and femininity, the seven songs on the EP break new ground for the purveyor of “sensitive pop” — unguarded and groovy, appealing to both heart and feet alike. The South African songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist also just released the EP’s lead single “Two Weeks” which premiered today on Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 Radio show as a “World First” record. The song is the musical manifestation of an unanticipated romance in Tuscany, encompassing the colors, sounds, smells and sensations of a fun-yet-fleeting summer.
“Two Weeks” comes with an intimate, DIY visual from Manu, filmed while in shutdown with her family in South Africa. “Playing into the limitations of lockdown, I head out on foot, armed with a tripod and VHS camera,” notes Manu. “I filmed myself in the spaces that have played such a crucial role in keeping my head on in this bizarre time. I wanted to just keep it simple and natural, using only what I had immediately at hand – and, to be perfectly honest, I set myself the challenge simply to see if I could pull it off.”
Raised in a creative family, and sheltered from the distractions of technological advancements, Manu grew up with plenty of room for her imagination to thrive. At 15, she wrote her first full composition the day her baby brother came home from the hospital and joined the band The Aztec Sapphire during her final high school exams. She notes, “I learned so much about my craft from that experience — I learned about arrangement, recording, and gear in general. Aztec quite literally altered my world.”
Manu went on to do a stint at the University of Cape Town Music School. During this time, she connected with Ross Dorkin and Robin Brink of Beatenberg who have gone on to produce both her new EP and June, her 2019 debut EP which saw Manu named Apple Music South Africa’s ‘Favourite New Artist’ and nominated for “Best Alternative Music Album” and “Female Artist of the Year” by the SAMAs (South African Music Awards).
Determined to keep the momentum going, she worked her way from Italy to London to Berlin doing odd jobs along the way, revelling in the obscurity travel brought her and creating music she had long dreamt up.
No Room for Error reflects Manu’s inner and outer world over the course of an eventful couple of months of love, loss and visa runs. It trails her travels chronologically and the project reads like a story. The EP is unabashed about desire; vulnerable and fierce. “I approached the process with a sense of freedom and fearlessness — no idea was ever too wild, and I really love working like that.”