Perth-born, Sydney-based musician R.W. Grace is finally feeling comfortable in her own musical skin. The artist formerly known as Grace Woodroofe traded her acoustic guitar vibes for a more sonic, electronic statement, and thus the new EP Love It, Need It, Miss It, Want It was born.
On the back of last year’s mesmerising single ‘Pluto’ comes a richly crafted, future-pop debut under a new name and identity. Inspired by personal jottings and the works of literary greats including Plath and Woolf, R.W. Grace entered a lush new musical realm.
We kick off with the building choral opening of ‘Bound For Tragedy’. Elevator-esque chimes drop in place of beats, as Grace’s airy exclamations coo over organ fuzz. “Why does it feel like we’re bound by tragedy?” she sings deep and resonant in the chorus. A moody bop introduces ‘All The Friends I Lost’, as R.W. Grace quasi-raps about relationships gone by. Despite its dark content, the track builds playfully to a full, infectious refrain with shooting star sonic streams.
The monster pop swell of single ‘Shell’ sees Grace at her most seductive – like she has finally come out of her shell (excuse the pun). Her eerie echo “Shell, shell, shell” croons over a heavy synth beat in the lifted chorus. Produced by LA’s Chris Cosgrove and Australia’s Dann Hume (of Evermore) the song is another filmic offering from the ever-evolving 25-year-old musician. The lyrics “you know you’ll see I’m not who I used to be” may be a direct reference to her changing aliases, but what remains is the same – a deliciously pulsating drumbeat and sinister synth.
The Hammer Horror opening of ‘Down Looking Above’ is a tantalising glimpse into Grace’s cinematic side. A twisted noir soul soundscape with melodramatic vocals, the beat drops like a dizzy didgeridoo. Lyric wise it’s difficult to decipher, but the music is unsetting and hypnotic enough to retain your attention for most of the duration. The industrial cacophony ‘Need Me Need You’ is a bona fide indie electronica number. The desperate and echoey lines “don’t give up on me” comes complete with choppy male backing vocals, but the authenticity of the words feel strained for the first time.
Emotive closer ‘#5’ is a quiet achiever. A dynamic harmony with longtime tour buddy Matt Corby, Grace’s ethereal and resonating vocals make for the perfect indie pop torch song. The popcorn beats in the chorus threaten to overpower the vocals, but just when you think Grace’s words are lost in the subtle tidal wave of sonic beats, Corby’s background husky notes leap over, linger and save the day.
Intriguing and extremely personal, the six tracks on Love It, Need It, Miss It, Want It merge bold, futuristic beats and luscious pop grooves with deeply intimate musings. Describing it as her most personal record to date, R.W. Grace has created a mostly immersive EP with the potential to become a very exciting album indeed.
Love It, Need It, Miss It, Want It is out now through Liberation Music.