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VIDEO: Grace Cummings Shares New Music Video for 'Up in Flames'

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Her new album will be released on January 14, 2022.

Melbourne-based singer, songwriter, producer and accomplished stage actor Grace Cummings has released a new single and music video for "Up In Flames," from her forthcoming, self-produced sophomore album. Storm Queen will be released on January 14th on ATO Records, and follows Cummings' understated debut album Refuge Cove, which was released in 2019 via King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard's Flightless Records.

"I wrote this song on the day Notre Dame burned down. I like that I can trace this song back to the exact day with a little time stamp like that," says Cummings of the new single. "It reminded me of a time I remember very well, standing on the sand at Jan Juc Beach looking into the ocean. Every wave that came in to the shore was thick and black. I went and looked closer at the water and it was full of scorched gum leaves."

True to its title, Storm Queen is a body of work with its own unruly climate, governed only by the visceral quality of Cummings' spellbinding and devastating vocal presence, as heard on stage opening for the likes of Weyes Blood, Evan Dando, J Mascis and more. With most songs captured within the first few takes and featuring unexpected flourishes by Cummings' peers in Melbourne, Storm Queen showcases a vast and volatile emotional landscape from one of the most captivating folk artists to enter the scene in years. "Up In Flames," follows the earlier release of album single / video "Heaven."

A near-lifelong musician, Cummings got her start as a drummer in a series of high school bands whose repertoire largely consisted of AC/DC and Jimi Hendrix covers. As she began writing songs of her own, she mined inspiration from artists like seminal Australian singer/songwriter Paul Kelly, Bob Dylan, and Spiritualized frontman J Spaceman, as well as from the traditional Irish folk music her father often played at home.

"Irish melodies are some of my favorites; they go to such dark and dramatic places," she says. Soon after striking out as a solo artist in the late 2010s, Cummings landed a deal with Flightless Records (a Melbourne-based record label founded by former King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard drummer Eric Moore). Having attended drama school, she's also spent much of the past decade performing in the Australian theater, and recently played the lead role in the Melbourne Theatre Company's production of Joanna Murray-Smith's Berlin. Noting her eternal fondness for Shakespeare-"If anyone wants me to play Hamlet, I'll do it"-Cummings has found her lyrical sensibilities indelibly informed by certain literary influences. "To me poems and stories are sometimes more of an inspiration than music, because they don't give you a melody: you have to just imagine your own," she says.

Over the years, Cummings has matched her idiosyncratic musicality with a deliberately spontaneous approach to songwriting. "I don't really do that thing where I lock myself away and sit down at a table like, 'Right, let's write a song now,'" she says. "If I feel like I have something I want to write, I just get it all out in the moment." And in the studio, Cummings remained wholly committed to following her deepest and most immediate instinct. "I'm not precious at all about recording; it just doesn't make sense to me," she says. "I am who I am and I sound how I sound, and I'm not really interested in going in like some kind of magician to try to make it sound any different."

In the making of Storm Queen, Cummings reinforced the self-possessed naturalism at the heart of her artistry, ultimately distilling her vision down to its most elemental essence. "In the past there were times when I've let other people's opinions affect me too much," she says. "But with this record I learned that I'm allowed to influence myself instead of taking in anyone else's ideas. I learned to completely trust what I see and hear in my head, and I stuck with that and just focused on creating what I love the most: something real and raw and ugly and beautiful."

Watch the new music video here:



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