Grace Woodroofe: “Bear”
Grace Woodroofe lists her influences simply as “Jack White.” The famed musical raconteur is an easy touchstone to spot in Woodroofe’s music, but there’s more to it than simple hero worship. Since winning a songwriting competition at the age of sixteen, Woodroofe has been an artist-to-watch in her native Australia, yet it’s taken awhile for the rest of the world to catch up. Her demos eventually found their way to the Los Angeles-based artist collective The Masses, who convinced Woodroofe to record in California. There she befriended producer Carlos Niño (who’s worked with Flying Lotus and TV on the Radio) and Mark Eitzel of the band American Music Club. But it was Grammy-winner Ben Harper who finally pushed open some doors, producing her debut album Always Want.
Though delayed by almost three years, Always Want still retains a sense of immediacy. On the record, Harper keeps Woodroofe’s messiness intact: at heart, she’s a bluesy soul, content with distorted guitars and dark lyrics. Woodroofe is equal parts toughness and warmth, capable of intense rock and roll one moment and intimate folk the next.
“Bear” is a perfect example of this duality. It constantly stops and starts, capturing your attention while Woodroofe and Harper’s backing group the Relentless 7 lock into the groove. The song mirrors Woodroofe’s own career, but once it hits its stride, there’s no turning back.