Fiona Steele and Ailsa Mitchell are the talented duo, GraceJean. The songwriters from Melbourne have been making music together since 2017, a journey that has led them to 2019, where they celebrate the release of their anticipated debut album, Long Black Road. From it, GraceJean share their new single, ‘Turn Away’, a beautiful example of the group’s musicality and thriving songwriting energy on record. Set to launch the album with an unmissable show at the Thornbury Theatre, Long Black Road is ready to enchant in the live realm as it does on record.
Heartfelt lyricism meets lush arrangement as GraceJean explore harmonic balance and indie folk territory. A shared love for music and creating together has formed strong foundations for GraceJean and with ‘Turn Away’, Steele and Mitchell showcase a strong dynamic as both performers and songwriters.
Engineered by Anna Laverty (Paul Dempsey, Florence and The Machine) and Guus Hoevenaars (Scissor Sisters, Eryn Woods) at Newmarket Studios, mastered by Joe Carra (Courtney Barnett, The Teskey Brothers) at Crystal Mastering, ‘Turn Away’ and Long Black Road came to life in recording and creative environment that nurtured positivity and musical strength. “We find ourselves in our element in the depths of writing a song together; piecing it together word by word, one chord at a time, deliberating over nuance and imagery. That’s our happy place.” GraceJean
Vocals are a driving force of Long Black Road, as Steele and Mitchell’s dynamic represents calm and enticing beauty. Their strong knack of storytelling remains prominent throughout, injecting nostalgia and romanticism into the music (‘Back Home’), while also laying importance on tonal space and nuance (‘Slow With Me’). In a similar vein to Little May and Sharon Van Etten, the music of GraceJean shines with its simplicity and natural flow. Charged up moments of guitar and up-tempo chords (‘Cell By Cell’) are complemented by slower moments of haunting reflection (‘Afraid of The Dark’), as the duo weave smoky harmonies in and out around delicate acoustic guitar.
The record follows on perfectly from GraceJean’s debut EP Live at The Skylark Room, an initial entry point to the duo’s influences and drive. Long Black Road is not only complementary to the EP, but a stride forward for GraceJean, as new corners are taken as the girls explore a fresh new chapter.
Further demonstrating the evocative energy of the record, GraceJean release the official music video for Long Black Road album track, ‘Take It From Me’. Filmed by Mardy Bridges in Taradale, country Victoria, Steele and Mitchell perform with brevity in the gorgeous surrounds of the Churchill church. “The video was our first experiment in making a DIY film clip. We travelled to Taradale in regional Victoria with our fiercely talented photographer and videographer friend Mardy Bridges, who has been an incredible asset in our journey as a band, because of both her technical and artistic skills.” GraceJean
PRAISE FOR GRACEJEAN
“GraceJean’s Live At The Skylark Room is like entering a warm cafe on a cold day. Rich with harmonies, rhythmic guitar and poetic storytelling, their songs of love and loss will have you clutching your heart and tapping your feet. This five-track EP is a reminder of the quality of live music coming out of Melbourne.” Strike A Light Media
“I like the harmonies, I like the stripped back folkie armchair feel. I like the original lyrics.”
Triple J, Elsa Silberstein
With their new album primed for an October release, GraceJean prepare to introduce themselves to more audiences, welcoming them into the fold with some beautiful indie-folk music. Inspired by the strong Melbourne music community and each other’s intensely personal brand of artistry, GraceJean as a duo have a strong formula for captivating audiences in full effect.
Saturday 5th October Thornbury Theatre Melbourne, VIC *ALBUM LAUNCH* Saturday 19th October One Tree Hill Spring Gully, VIC 25th, 26th, 27th October Tablelands Folk Festival Yungaburra, QLD 2nd, 3rd November Happy Wanderer Festival Benalla, VIC 23rd, 24th November Queenscliff Music Festival Queenscliff, VIC