Scintillating indie folk duo GraceJean (aka Fiona Steele and Ailsa Mitchell) came together in 2017 influenced by the diverse Melbourne music scene and a love for warm and rhythmic storytelling.
Building upon their debut EP Live at The Skylark Room, GraceJean have jumped head first into the last few months of 2019 with a poised and placid debut full-length Long Black Road that unfurled last Friday. Offering up an immersive sonic safe space full of winsome melodics and dense arrangements, Long Black Road finds this Melbourne pair in fine form, recalling fellow folksy gems like Josh Pyke, Laura Marling and Amanda Palmer while injecting their own sparkling touch across eight tracks. And in honour of their new release and just before they take this show on the road, today these two lovely ladies share a track by track breakdown of the album. Check it out below!
TURN AWAY Turn Away is the lead single from GraceJean’s debut album ‘Long Black Road’. With a make-no-mistakes bang of an entry, the relentless energy of Turn Away introduces the record through exploring the intensity of romantic intimacy and the heat of proximity.
BACK HOME What do you do when you’ve followed all the advice and self help remedies after a break up, and your heart is still broken? Write a tongue and cheek song about not being able to sleep, that's what. Back home is such a song. A light, anti-romance about realising that just because a decision is the right one, it doesn’t make it the easy one.
LOVE Borne out of a need to rejuvenate self-esteem and self-care in moments of doubt, ‘Love’ is a song about exactly that; love, of all kinds. It only takes one bad experience of busking for a folk duo to turn to writing a song about love, in order to remind themselves of the goodness in the human beings around them, and to not dwell on the isolation of being ignored as street performers.
CELL BY CELL The triumphant counterpart to Back Home, Cell By Cell is a bubbly festivity with a throwback 90’s sound that makes parallels between how the body changes over cells and how one moves on from a heartbreak. With an upbeat, infectious groove the song celebrates the pure, exhilarating joy of knowing that a past experience no longer holds any power over you.
SLOW WITH ME Written in the dead of night, this track is an invitation to a partner to take the time to slow down and indulge in a moment of unspectacular, honest intimacy. A quasi-lullaby, Slow With Me is a six minute journey through the rawness of aching desire for affection in the emptiness of night, and a reminder to take the time to be present in the seemingly uneventful nuances of a shared life.
TAKE IT FROM ME An exploration of unconventional love, Take It From Me is the story of both self-imposed penance and reconciliation through the journey of unforgiving self-discovery. Endowed with an incessant Celtic lilt, it is a harrowing plea to have a translucent existence given the shape and light it needs to become visible in the eyes of the beholder.
TOO CLOSE Too Close is a foot stomping riot about finding your truth and the strength to call out disrespect. Hitting on the irony that a person who invades your space may be physically closer to you but, in disregarding your boundaries, has shown that they are incapable of seeing your real worth. With raucous guitar lines and a pounding of lyrics, this track is about empowerment and not buying into another’s perspective of who you are.
AFRAID OF THE DARK Written against the backdrop of the Snowy Mountains, Afraid Of The Dark is a slow, creeping song about the terror of loneliness and the salvation of friendship. The final track on the album is a haunting reflection on human relations and leaves the listener with a bittersweet sense of hope that comes with acknowledging pain and knowing it is something that can be moved through.
THE NEW ALBUM LONG BLACK ROAD FROM GRACEJEAN IS OUT NOW VIA ALL THE USUAL SUSPECTS, AND BE SURE TO CATCH THE LADIES WHEN THEY ROLL THROUGH A TOWN NEAR YOU FOR A SPECIAL ALBUM LAUNCH TOUR. TOUR INFO BELOW, AND FOR ALL OTHER GRACEJEAN INFO, HEAD HERE.
BY TIANA SPETER