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NEWS: Grace Cummings returns with the Western tinged power of ‘Common Man’

Following first single ‘On and On‘, rising Australian star Grace Cummings has released ‘Common Man’, the second track taken from her upcoming album Ramona,  due out 5th April via ATO Records / [PIAS]. The bluesy, Western flecked track features Grace’s imperious vocal notes, that swoop from delicate emotive power to frayed at the margins, with echoes of Jefferson Airplane‘s Grace Slick, like a clunking fist of a punctuation mark, it grapples with her desire to be more than the common man. The accompanying visualizer is compiled of nostalgia-inducing Western film clip. Watch below.

Of the song, Grace says :“This song is about being a colourful bird and never, ever wanting to be a pigeon. Somebody I used to know wrote a song called common man about working nine to five and coming home and having a cup of tea and going to bed and it made me want to have a fucking panic attack. I wish I could tell people it was about riding off into the distance on the back of a white horse with a Cowboy in Austin Texas, but it’s not.”

Ramona is a work of raw truth rendered in its most beautiful form. In a departure from the self-produced approach of her 2019 debut Refuge Cove and its 2022 follow-up Storm Queen—the Melbourne-based artist dreamed up a lavishly orchestrated sound that fully accommodates the depth and scope of her vocal prowess. With its visceral reflection on grief and self-destruction and emotional violence, Ramona brings a stunning new grandeur to Cummings’ music while refusing to soften or temper its humanity.

Also an accomplished stage actor, Cummings imbues all of Ramona with an unbridled theatricality—an element on glorious display in the album’s title track. “I wrote that at a time when I wasn’t doing well and had the sense that other people saw me as a weak little bird,” says Cummings, who mined inspiration from Bob Dylan’s 1964 song “To Ramona.” “I didn’t want to be myself so I decided to be Ramona instead, full of intensity and melodrama. For me there’s a lot of safety in putting on a costume or a mask; sometimes it feels like the only way to express any true honesty or vulnerability.

Cummings hopes that Ramona might provide her audience with a similar sense of relief and release. “A lot of the time the only way for me to process what’s happening in my life is to write about it,” she says. “So it’s a deeply personal record. But I hope that people come away from this album feeling like the songs were written just for them. Because they were, in a way. Watching the deeply personal evolve into something that’s shared by so many different people makes me feel less lonely in this world.

In addition to the new song, Grace has announced a U.S. tour that kicks off in May with stops in Los Angeles, New York and more along with her debut at Shaky Knees Festival in Atlanta. The dates come ahead of her EU / UK tour with labelmates King Gizzard in May. 

Feb 14 – Melbourne Recital Centre (Solo) (with Calexico) – Melbourne, AUS
Feb 15 – Melbourne Recital Centre (Solo) (with Calexico) – Melbourne, AUS
Feb 16 – Theatre Royal (Solo) (with Calexico) – Castlemaine, AUS
Feb 23  – The Nightcat – Melbourne, AUS
Mar 1 – Stranded Bar -– Brisbane, AUS
Mar 2 – The Lansdowne – Sydney, AUS
May 1 – Gold Diggers – Los Angeles, CA
May 4 – Shaky Knees Music Festival – Atlanta, GA
May 5 – Cat’s Cradle Back Room – Carrboro, NC
May 7 – DC9 – Washington, DC
May 8 – Arden Gild Hall – Wilmington, DE
May 9 – Public Records – Brooklyn, NY

May 15 – Forest National – Brussels Belgium *
May 16 – Stadthalle – Offenbach, Germany *
May 18 – Forum Karlin – Prague, Czechia *
May 19 – Arena Wien – Vienna, Austria *
May 20 – Columbiahalle – Berlin, Germany *
May 21 – Kantine am Berghain – Berlin, Germany
May 23 – AFAS Live – Amsterdam, Netherlands *
May 24 – The Lexington – London, United Kingdom
May 25 – Wide Awake – London, United Kingdom
May 26 – Olympia – Liverpool, United Kingdom *
May 27 – Usher Hall – Edinburgh, United Kingdom *
May 29 – Civic Halls – Wolverhampton, United Kingdom *
May 30 – Bristol Beacon – Bristol, United Kingdom *
May 31 – Brighton Dome – Brighton, United Kingdom *
Jun 2 – Maifeld Derby – Mannheim, Germany
Jun 3 – Import Export – Munich, Germany
Jun 4 – Unaltrofestival @ Circolo Magnolia – Milan, Italy *
Jun 7 – La Boule Noire – Paris, France
Jun 8 – Best Kept Secret – Hilvarenbeek, Netherlands
Jun 12 – Bergenfest – Bergen, Norway

*King Gizzard Support

Photo Credit: Tajette O’Halloran

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.