It’s time to put aside anything you thought you knew about Grace Woodroofe’s music. Along with a new performing name, R.W. Grace, Woodroofe has transformed her sound on her new EP Love It Need It Miss It Want It. If you aren’t familiar, Woodroofe was practically discovered by the late Heath Ledger. Having toured with the likes of Alt-J, Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros, Glass Animals and Paul Kelly, it’s pretty clear she has a very promising career ahead of her. We sat down with the Perth-based musician ahead of her EP drop to talk friends, name changes and inspiration.
How would you describe your EP?
It’s very much me. All the songs are very personal and basically extracted from my journals. I started experimenting with electronic music for the first time, because I wanted to get rid of any limitations I possibly felt playing guitar – that’s what I had done previously for a really long time. I just wanted to strip it back, and open up sonically anything I can do electronically. I wouldn’t say [the songs] are pop, but they are definitely a growth from my previous work. It’s hard to explain, it’s a combination of pop music but also in keeping with these very poetic and symbolic languages to really play around with the things that make me, me, I guess.
I read that you were discovered by Heath Ledger?
Yeah, I was 17 and had just started writing. I put a song up on [Triple J] Unearthed, I think it was the first song I had ever written. His sister passed the link onto him – just as sort of a “ohh you should check out my friend, she sings her own songs,” and he really responded to it. No one ever thought it would lead to what it did. He was very creative and wanted to help spread my voice around. He introduced me to Ben Harper who produced my first album.
Tell us about your single ‘All the Friends I Lost’. It’s an upbeat track, but quite sombre lyrically. How do you go about teaming an upbeat melody with darker lyrics?
I guess I didn’t really have any upbeat lyrics (laughs). We wrote the music first and at the time I had been let down by a group of friends and I really felt like I needed to get that out. I didn’t feel like it wasn’t fitting or anything like that – it was just one of the contrasts that is really present in my music. I definitely had so many circumstances in that year where I would be at home by myself wondering why I wasn’t invited to that party or why didn’t that person want to hang out with me anymore. It all sort of accumulated into that song. I felt like I just needed to get all that emotion out.
Why the name change?
Mostly it’s just that it has been such a long time since I released anything, and within that period there has just been such a massive growth inmyself, personally and as an artist. It felt like it had become a different beast. It didn’t feel like a singer/ songwriter record anymore. ‘R.W Grace’ felt more... I don’t know, it’s not a persona by any means, it’s something that I just grew into. I kind of turn it on when I perform live. I feel like “yeah, that’s me, R.W.”
Love It Need It Miss It Want It is out now.