Our 6th annual LEAF Festival Singer-Songwriter Competition is this weekend, Saturday, May 11! All this week we are introducing readers to our eight, talented finalists. Today we are proud to highlight Atlanta-based The Good Graces, aka Kim Ware.
Drummer-turned-songwriter Kim Ware started the Good Graces on a whim in 2006, after purchasing a beat up, old acoustic guitar she named Buzzy at the Lakewood Antiques Market in Atlanta. The songs quickly poured out of her, melodic stories of heartache and hope, set to three chords that she often didn’t know the name of. Since then, Kim and tGG have toured the east coast multiple times, paid musical visits to Texas, over to California, and performed at such festivals as 30A, NXNE, and now, the esteemed LEAF Festival.
In 2015, Kim’s song “Cold in California” caught the attention of the Indigo Girls, who invited tGG to support some midwest and southeast shows during their summer tour. Shortly thereafter, Kim and friends began work on their 4th full-length, Set Your Sights. Released in conjunction with the Chapel Hill/Durham, NC-based boutique label PotLuck Foundation, Set Your Sights places Kim’s heart-on-her-sleeve songwriting and earnest lyrical delivery at the forefront of an atmospheric indie-folk expedition, led by producer / guitarist Jonny Daly and supported by a long list of players from around the southeast. Kim recently wrapped up work on a follow-up LP, Prose and Consciousness, to be released in October 2019.
We asked Kim some questions to learn more about her artistic process and vision. See The Good Graces and the rest of our 7 fellow LEAF finalists perform at NewSong’s LEAF Singer-Songwriter Competition this Saturday May 11.
More than anything, it’s never forced. I really am lucky, in that I love to create, and I’m almost always inspired. It can be anything, but for me, it’s usually in the everyday. Making coffee. Arguing with my husband. Making up. And often, my pets. I rarely sit down with the intention of “now I’m gonna write a song about x.” Instead, I’ll have little moments. In the car, in the shower… A melody and/or lyric will come to mind. That’s usually how it starts, and I just try to capture and build on it as quickly as I can, before it gets away.
LEAF! And I’m releasing my 5th full-length in October, it’s called “Prose and Consciousness,” and it doesn’t have a single breakup song on it! Pretty proud of that.
As much as I want to think I don’t need validation, I think we all do. At the very least, it feels good for my songs to be recognized in this way. The other songwriters are so talented! I’m looking forward to meeting them, and I hope my music connects with a new batch of folks who may not have been exposed to it otherwise.
With a mission to identify and celebrate exceptional performers and songwriters from across North America, the competition aims to bring some of the continent’s most accomplished emerging artists to showcase, network and compete at the 48th LEAF Festival, which takes place May 9-12, 2019. Festival headliners include India Arie, Shovels and Rope and the War and Treaty.