GRACE ARMSTRONG Bleeding Out to Good Fortunes

Back in June 2018 we were introduced to local musician Grace Armstrong via her debut single, Bleeding Out. The song itself couples sensory and emotive lyrics with a gentle yet powerful vocal delivery layered over a dreamy melody whilst showing a glimpse into the local funk, folk and melodic musician that created it. For a debut, it has certainly made an impression with Triple J among those taking note. With the release of her debut EP, Good Fortunes, next Thursday, August 16, 2018 at The Bird, ANNIE MUNROE sat down with Armstrong to find out more about the origins of her music, her band and her love of music. 

Congratulations on the release of your debut EP, Good Fortunes. Can you tell us about the most fortunate moment for you or your band in the creation of this EP?

I think we have been really fortunate at how easily it all came together. The response to Bleeding Out has been so humbling – being featured under the Artist Spotlight on Triple J Unearthed, being played on over 50 regional and metro radio stations, and friends that you didn’t think would like your music say they do! There are so many reasons I feel very fortunate.

Can you tell us about the origin story of you and your band?

I had only ever played my own material by myself, so I was really keen to start a band and play with other people. I knew Christian Zappia (lead guitarist) before going to WAAPA but we became great friends during this time. There I met and became friends with Josh Wright (drummer) and Marley Donnan-Cook (bass player) and eventually plucked up the courage to ask if they wanted to be in my band. Our newest member Josh Chan (keys) came into the picture only a couple months ago but I am so happy to have him. I love it because I get to play music with musicians I admire, who also happen to be my best friends.

Did you have a message you were exploring in this EP or a theme you wanted to put across?

There isn’t one message per say, all the songs have their own meaning and message but they all come from a place of not feeling good enough, or not believing in yourself.

You grew up in Balingup, WA. What was it like growing up in regional Australia and do you think that your rural background translates into your music?

I wouldn’t want to have grown up any other way! Instead of doing whatever city kids did after school or on the weekends, I was in my room writing music and exploring sounds. I have a very, almost romantic, relationship with music in the way that it is awfully sentimental and heart (or) gut driven. I feel that came from relying on it to get me through hard and lonely times, but also great times which comes with living in an isolated place. I also got to develop my own way of writing and playing because I wasn’t influenced by anyone around me, so by the time I moved to the big smoke I kind of already knew my style but was ready to adopt stylistic differences I saw in other performers I liked without it changing the root of my style.

Have there been some key people in your career so far that have influenced your music or creative process?

There are so many incredible Perth artists around at the moment, it is actually a bit crazy. Every time I go to a gig I think “wow… I really need to write some better songs”. But it is great because it pushes me to try new things and explore somewhere different in music.

The artist that has been a big influence for me since I can remember is Paul Kelly. The way he writes is brilliant and gets me every time. He says what he needs to say and that is something I really struggle with sometimes, so I admire it greatly.

The last song on the EP is with my mum who has always been my biggest champion. She gave me the gift of music and I couldn’t thank her enough for that.

What’s next after this EP?

The plan is to record another single to release at the end of the year and possibly attach a tour. I just want to celebrate a great year and have some fun!

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