Alicia Keys’s seventh album ALICIA, her first in nearly four years (not to mention her first since becoming the Grammy’s go-to host/pianist), was due to drop back in March, before the coronavirus threw the music release calendar into a loop. Then it was set for mid-May, only to be postponed further, now with no new release date in sight. But steady crumbs from the album have held us over, the latest of which is a new song Keys debuted at her Tiny Desk Concert, released today, June 15. She played “Gramercy Park” for the first time for NPR back in February, before the world entered quarantine — “It feels so good to just be in an intimate space and connect with you,” she says at the beginning of the performance, blissfully unaware of what was to come. She told the audience it was about “how much we contort and conform and adjust ourselves” for others, until “we can’t find our way back to ourselves.” Keys left her piano for the low-key, smooth, kind of jazzy performance, singing, “I been tryin’ to fulfill you with your every need / Now you fallin’ for a person that’s not even me.” “Gramercy Park” (which you can watch in full on NPR’s website) follows previously released ALICIA songs “Underdog,” “Show Me Love,” “Time Machine,” and “Good Job.” Maybe this track will be Keys’s secret weapon in her Juneteenth Verzuz battle against John Legend.
Photo: Courtesy of NPR