Perth-born songstress Grace (previously known as Grace Woodroofe) has reinvented herself this year. Her luscious pop single ‘Pluto’ was a bold taste of what’s to come, and since its debut on The Fader (USA) in October, it has received upwards of 15,000 plays on Soundcloud and been added to triple J.
In anticipation of her EP due for release early next year, Grace is taking her moody mix of pulsing synths and ethereal storytelling on the road for a run of headline national shows in November and December this year.
Having recently supported alt-j on the band’s headline tour of Australia, she is eager to share her own music and give fans a first look at what she has been making with Dave Sitek (TV on the Radio), Sam Spiegel (Yeah Yeah Yeahs) and Dann Hume (Alpine).
I caught up with Grace ahead of her national tour to discuss her new image and what audiences can expect from her music!
What’s the main difference between Grace Woodroofe and Grace?
Grace encapsulates the emotion of my music rather than just a name.
What was the motivation behind the shift in musical style and persona?
It’s been a completely natural progression. I’ve been experimenting with sounds, methods of creation, different techniques for the past few years. I allowed myself not to be confined by any expectations and I just let go of anything I found limiting and decided to be open.
Have your Grace Woodroofe fans been supportive of your new image?
I’ve truly felt my audience grow with me as I’ve toured and experimented. They’ve seen me develop my sound, live configuration and dabble in different genres, so the musical evolution wasn’t a complete surprise. The connection we have is still there because I’m still the same person with the same heart. I still create for the same reasons and I always present myself honestly.
Perth is quite isolated from the rest of Australia, but some great bands such as Eskimo Joe, Little Birdy and Jebediah have emerged from the Perth scene. What were your musical influences growing up out West?
My musical education began when I started going through all my Dad’s old records. Growing up I devoured anything musically informative I could get my hands on – biographies, magazines, blogs, street press… I listened to everything.
Are you still based predominately in Perth? If not, why the move?
At the moment I split my time between Perth and Los Angeles. Most of my downtime is spent in Perth when I am focusing on the Australian releases, touring, writing etc. My band is based there. I also live in Los Angeles where I do most of my recording.
Your single ‘Pluto’ is quite a dark, layered track. I can hear definite biblical influences i.e Adam & Eve. What is the story behind the song?
When I sat down to write the vocals I laid out my scrapbook of cut outs from magazines along with several journals of lyrics. I flipped through them all as the track looped and the tone slowly emerged. I used Garden of Eden imagery to reference the temptation of wanting something out of bounds, giving in and chaos erupting. Overall I wanted to convey the fighting of an urge – whatever your vice may be, but then succumbing to the temptation because the momentary joy you get from it outweighs the consequence.
What was the benefit of having the single debuted on US site The Fader?
Immediate connection with an audience who seeks out new music.
Describe your upcoming EP in five words – give us a taste!
True reflection of me now.
You recently toured with alt-j. What was that like?
The alt-j shows were the first time my band and I had ever played the new material live. It was nerve-wracking to test it out on such a scale but it felt right at the same time.
Your upcoming EP was produced by TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek. How did that collaboration come about?
I have always wanted to work with Dave, I love his production and of course TVOTR. We had the same musical references and ideas about what we’d like to try, so dove in. After that first day in the studio with him my mind was affirmed that he was a genius.
And Sam Spiegel and Dann Hume? How did they get on board?
The same way, both resulted in cool tracks and we liked working together, so we just kept digging.
Your main website is a tumblr. What do you like about tumblr and using social media to share your musical inspirations and processes?
Tumblr is an important tool for me to share my visual inspirations. It’s become an amazing outlet for me because I can express myself personally through the visuals rather than actually talking to someone.. It’s like my antithesis to twitter. I physically feel better after sharing them.
I also go back through my tumblr when I’m writing and create mood boards to help inspire me. There are recurring themes throughout it all which are referenced in my lyrics.
What are you most excited about for your national tour?
Playing all the new songs to people and gauging the reaction. Also the feeling I get from being on stage.
What can audience expect from your live shows?
First dibs hearing what to expect from the upcoming releases!
Grace – Pluto Tour Dates:
Sat Nov 29 – Mojos, Perth
Thurs Dec 4 – Black Bear, Brisbane
Fri Dec 5 – Goodgod Small Club, Sydney
Sat Dec 6 – Workers Club, Melbourne
Tickets on sale at 10am on Wednesday November 5 through iheargrace.com