Video Premiere: Mackenzie Grant “Borderline”

Photo credit: Ashley Hylbert

Mackenzie Grant’s latest single is a sensitive interpretation of the Joni Mitchell classic ‘Borderline’.   The song originally featured on Mitchell’s GRAMMY Award-winning ‘Turbulent Indigo’ album in 1994, which was inspired by the life of Van Gogh, his creativity and his internal conflicts.  ‘Borderline’ is a timeless song that, like the rest of the album, explores human nature and behaviour and mental health.  Grant’s version of the song is beautiful; the exquisite melody is delivered in her clear, pure voice while Josh Kaler’s fine pedal steel flows beneath.

Grant explains why she chose to cover ‘Borderline’: “I first heard Joni Mitchell’s ‘Borderline’ when I was a freshman in college. I was studying political science at the time and engaging with students and professors who all had strong opinions about the state of our world. This song hit me
directly between the eyes in my own reckoning of personal beliefs and how we navigate relationships with others whose ideologies are different from our own. I kept returning to the idea that so many of our beliefs might make us feel righteous, they also immediately set up a dichotomy, a dividing line between you and others. ‘Borderline’ is about how we can lose sight of our common humanity when we align ourselves too stringently with our
opinions and views. ‘Turbulent Indigo’ is possibly my favourite Joni album and one that I think gets overlooked, even though it won a Grammy. I feel this song is as compelling and timely today as it was 28 years ago and wanted more people to know about it. But then that’s the magic and genius of Joni’s work; compelling and timeless.”

In the accompanying video, we travel with Grant around the Woodbine and Glencliff areas of Nashville where she lives.  Her destination is Phonolux, a local record shop where she flicks though the LP and finds a copy of the ‘Turbulent Indigo’ album.  Grant actually had to create a mocked-up record specifically for the video because it was never actually released on vinyl.  The video ends with Grant returning home to play the record.  It’s a clever concept for a video of a cover song, showing respect and love for the original.

‘Borderline’ is the second single from Grant’s forthcoming album ‘Wonder World’, due for release on 18th March 2022, which sees Grant return to  music after fifteen years pursuing a career as a counsellor in Nashville’s school system.   Her debut album, ‘The Laundry Room Glamour Hour’ was released all the way back in 2006 but after her marriage ended Grant became disillusioned with the industry.  Much has changed for Grant since then and she is ready to immerse herself in music once more.  ‘Wonder World’ promises to be an absorbing record.  While you’re waiting, check out this rendition of a timeless song.


About Andrew Frolish 1383 Articles
From up north but now hiding in rural Suffolk. An insomniac music-lover. Love discovering new music to get lost in - country, singer-songwriters, Americana, rock...whatever. Currently enjoying Nils Lofgren, Ferris & Sylvester, Tommy Prine, Jarrod Dickenson, William Prince, Frank Turner, Our Man in the Field...
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Sharon Matheny

Beautiful voice and beautiful lyrics.

Alan Ainsworth

I second the above. A thinking persons lyrics, beautifully constructed backing supports the piano, and gives you space to listen to the words. well, what do you expect from a Joni Mitchell song? Dont get disilluisoned again.

[…] BlackBird Record Label. The video can be viewed here and was premiered yesterday (February 2) by Americana UK which noted that “Grant’s version of the song is beautiful; the exquisite melody is delivered […]

[…] the soul.” This was followed by her sharing a cover of Joni Mitchell’s timeless single “Borderline” earlier this month which Americana UK praised stating, “Grant’s version of the song is […]

[…] Highways and “Little Girl”—as well as a cover of Joni Mitchell’s timeless single “Borderline” which Americana UK praised stating, “Grant’s version of the song is beautiful; the exquisite […]