Artist Name: Mr. Grossman; Musicians: Mark S. Grossman: Keyboards, guitars and vocals and Chana Matthews: Vocals

EP: ‘Novella;’ Released August 26, 2022; Producer: Grossman

Summoning the courage to find closure over past love is an essential, powerful way for people to fully embrace the future. That personal introspection is powerfully chronicled on the recently released classical EP, ‘Novella,’ by singer-songwriter Mark S. Grossman, who performs under the stage name of Mr. Grossman. The personal four-track album showcases the Northern Californian multi-instrumentalist-composer’s versatility; he easily switched from releasing more politically-driven singles to distributing tunes that explore the vulnerabilities of contending with personal topics and emotions.

Inspired by such fellow R&B, soul and indie pop musicians as Sade, Smokey Robinson and John Legend, Mr. Grossman effortlessly showcases his vulnerabilities as he shares his life’s emotional journey throughout ‘Novella.’ Thee four songs featured on the record most notably highlight the struggles the artist has been forced to face, particularly in terms of overcoming past trauma in relationships and learning how to love again.

‘Novella’s first entry, ‘Any Takers,’ features guest vocals from female singer Chana Matthews. Her vocals help give a searing portrait of a woman who was hurt in past relationships, and eventually dares herself to get back into the dating world. The track’s vocals are set against experimental instrumentation that combines elements of jazz and Latin rhythms through a stellar bass line, syncopated percussion and classical strings.

The musician’s elegant but equally sultry vocals also infuse the tune with potent longing as she croons that her love for the person she’s singing about has long since faded, and the sad feelings she had about the end of their relationship have also past. As a result, she’s setting off to find a new intimate connection.

‘Any Takers’ is followed by the EP’s sophomore track, ‘Escape,’ which offers more encouragement and solace through its melancholic tones than its predecessor. The ballad, which is driven by a beautiful soothing piano, chronicles how the person Mr. Grossman cares about would rather live their life safely and sheltered at home than venture out into the world and risk being hurt. So he soulfully encourages them to take the first step and start the next chapter in their life, and he notes he will support them when they escape into their new existences together.

Following ‘Escape,’ ‘Novella’ takes a brief intermission to recharge with its minute-long acoustic third entry, ‘Intermezzo,’ on which the arist declares he’s finally able to overcome his fears and prevent more parts of himself from disappearing. While he does still occasionally ponder what his life would have been like if he was still with the person he loves, he now recognizes the good in himself and is able to move on.

Mr. Grossman’s latest album then comes to a close with its fourth entry, ‘Up to Me,’ which is driven by a gleaming piano and soft strings that feature a syncopated jazz-flavored rhythm. The instrumentals of the R&B song support the musician’s wistful vocals that are filled with indulgent timbres. He proclaims that it’s now the right time to move forward with pursuing a personal connection that will finally bolster his life and sense of self.

With the vulnerable, intimate tracks on ‘Novella,’ Mr. Grossman is proving what a versatile musician he is by showing how comfortable he feels about sharing his true personal feelings, alongside his political views on his earlier singles. Thee stunning four tracks featured on the record most notably highlight the struggles the artist has been forced to face and overcome, particularly in terms of overcoming past trauma in relationships and learning how to love again. As a result, the EP is a reltable, not-to-be-missed collection of songs that will stay with its listeners long after it has ended.

For more information on Mr. Grossman, visit his Spotify, Bandcamp and YouTube pages.

The cover of singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalist-composer Mr. Grossman’s EP, ‘Novella.’

By Karen Benardello

As a graduate of LIU Post with a B.F.A in Journalism, Print and Electronic, Karen Benardello serves as ShockYa's Senior Movies & Television Editor. Her duties include interviewing filmmakers and musicians, and scribing movie, television and music reviews and news articles. As a New York City-area based journalist, she's a member of the guilds, New York Film Critics Online and the Women Film Critics Circle.

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