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Talkback: Isabel Gracefield

Sound Engineer By William Stokes
Published May 2021


A protegée of Fraser T Smith, engineer Isabel Gracefield has spent the best part of her career to date at London’s celebrated RAK Studios. Having engineered for artists from PJ Harvey to Dua Lipa, she remains a devotee to the art of characterful mixing and a proponent of unconventional studio spaces.

At the moment I can’t stop listening to

I’m a musical monomaniac, by which I mean I listen to one track on loop for days. Which is probably boring for the people around me! I love artists that create a complete world: Tyler The Creator, Sault… I’m still not over ‘Cellophane’ by FKA Twigs. I was also recently blown away by ‘Daisy’ by Ashnikko: the lyrics and the vocal performance. My all‑time most listened‑to record is ‘Nomanisisland’ by Subtle, from the album For Hero For Fool. I put it on about once a week when I’m not working. That drum sound: it makes me want to smash stuff, in a good way.

The project I’m most proud of

There’s always something I love in every session. I’m just happy that someone wanted me in the room! I met my husband playing in bands together, wildly unsuccessful. A few years ago we co‑wrote and I produced an album, Hope, under the name Tom Forest, with the absolute intention that no one would ever hear it. It deals with some heavy moments: the loss and near‑loss of siblings, impending parenthood… Of course, it got signed right as we embarked on the insanity of having kids. It’s influenced by our love of large spaces, soul, electronica and the drum intro from ‘In The Air Tonight’. I was lucky enough to...

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Published May 2021