The new single from indie folk collective The Good Graces, “The First Girl” strikes an unflinchingly introspective chord that is both atmospheric and intimate.
The Good Graces
Unflinchingly introspective and personal songs have no right striking such a universally affecting chord. But don’t tell that to the Good Graces. The Good Graces is an indie-folk collective based in Atlanta, GA formed in 2007 by singer-songwriter Kim Ware, whose plaintive, utterly appealing drawl of a voice grounds each song with raw honesty and homespun warmth. Ware and the band have performed up and down the East Coast, in California, Canada, Texas and many spots in between; toured with the Indigo Girls; and played festivals including 30A, NXNE, Athens Pop Festival, and International Pop Overthrow. Backed by an ever-changing line-up of talented collaborators, the band propels The Good Graces into new sonic territory with each iteration.
the Good Graces’s most recent full-length collection, “Set Your Sights,” marks a palpable leap in the project’s evolution. Boasting the addition of producer/guitarist Jonny Daly and a varied list of talented players from Atlanta and the Southeast, Ware’s confessional lyrical style and starkly sincere singing is beautifully integrated with deftly layered, atmospheric sounds and evocative musical phrasing. The songs elicit a growing confidence and clarity of purpose, as well as a new depth of sound. “I think working with so many talented people has elevated my songwriting,” Ware states. “I’m more comfortable with the songs, particularly the newer ones, and I’m not afraid to play them by myself. I guess I’ve grown into them, and finally reached a point where I don’t feel like something’s missing when I do it solo or more stripped down.”
It’s an approach that continues to morph and develop with the release of The Good Grace's four-song collection entitled “The Hummingbird EP,” a sort of postscript to “Set Your Sights” that wanders the spectrum from sad to happy with a side-trip to just plain silly. “The hummingbird won't go from point A to point B in a straight line,” Ware points out. “They kinda jump around all over the place. But by the time they make it to point B they've probably gotten there in a more creative, thoughtful way. I've always identified with that.” That journey is evident in the songs on the EP, which elicit a new level of creative wandering. There’s a striking juxtaposition in “(I Should Probably Write a) Happy Song,” a fun, catchy number that dares you not to clap along to lyrics like, “all these tears in my name just make me feel like dying.” “The First Girl,” “X My <3” and “Waiting” range from simple and intimate to more complex, sonically lush beds for Ware’s longing and regret to roll around in.
The Good Graces is currently focusing on a fine tuning a batch of songs for a new full-length, and looking forward to stretching even further. “The EP is different. The next record will be likely more different,” according to Ware. If The Good Grace's recent offerings are any indication of possibilities for this flourishing meeting of talented minds, it’s tough not to be greedy for more.
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"Blood On the Tracks and Shoot Out the Lights fans, take note.”
“Kim Ware’s on-again indie folk project has served up a little slice of heaven for the Atlanta music scene (and the world)."
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