LISTEN: Kim Ware and the Good Graces Rock With A “Capital R”

New album, Ready, comes out September 16th

Kim Ware (Image: John McNicholas)

Since coming together over 15 years ago, Kim Ware and her band, the Good Graces, have been an active entity touring the country and playing countless festivals alongside a long list of renowned artists including Indigo Girls, Sierra Ferrell, Granville Automatic and The Old Ceremony. 

Their sound has been compared to artists like Neko Case, Drive-By Truckers, Phoebe Bridgers and The Weepies among others. But upon listening to the forthcoming Good Graces album, entitled Ready, it’s clear how Ware and her mates are coming into their own distinctive sound themselves, finding them stepping out of the country/folk trappings and towards a more electric feel reminiscent of celebrated 90s acts like Belly and Juliana Hatfield. 

The album, which is due out on September 16 and produced by early Superchunk associate Jerry Kee, is filled with songs written both before the COVID-19 outbreak, like the breakup rocker “U2 (Means to an End),” the shimmering “Overflowing,” and a tribute to her late father called “So Many Questions.” Others were written in the throes of the pandemic and subsequent civil unrest that transpired under the Trump Administration, like the self-evident, “Stopped Making Plans” and “Odds and Evens,” written in response to the events of January 6th. 

Then there are songs that are more universal and unbound by time or events like the confessional rocker “Capital R,” which Rock & Roll Globe is proud to premiere today on the site.

Kim Ware and the Good Graces Ready, self-released 2022

“This was one of the first songs we finished for the album,” Ware explains. “Instantly it seemed to have a more driving, rocking feel than most of my songs, and we really leaned into that for the production. I was sort of going for a 90s / early 2000s indie-alternative vibe. I came up playing drums in bands in the 90s, so that era — stuff like Liz Phair, The Breeders, and Throwing Muses — will always be a big influence on me, though it isn’t always evident in my writing. I would say this sort of set the tone for the rest of the album, pushing us more in a direction of an indie/alternative production quality (and less country-folk like I expected). It’s one of my favorites to play live, mainly due to the energy, and often some friends will join in with backing vocals and hand claps.”

Lyrically, Ware tells Rock & Roll Globe how “Capital R” inspired her to dig deeper into her ability to resolve conflict, something so many of us who’ve lost family and friends to our country’s stark political divide could relate.

“I’ve written a few ‘therapy songs’ over the past couple of years, and I think ‘Capital R’ was the first, or at least the first that was an intentional attempt to get some resolution with a situation I was having problems with,” she reveals. “It came out of an assignment from my therapist. I was having a difficult time dealing with what I’ll just refer to as ‘unwanted’ feelings about a couple of my interpersonal relationships; basically, there was a common theme I found in how I was responding to conflict, and I wasn’t very proud of it. My therapist urged me to journal about what the feelings do FOR me. 

“My initial response was that it doesn’t do anything for me; it’s something I’d like to change. But I sat with it a bit and wrote about it. It was really helpful in that it gave me a different perspective and just a better understanding of the conflicts, at least in terms of my responses to them and how they got so problematic in the first place. The whole process was super therapeutic and opened my eyes to a new way of writing.”

Listen to “Capital R” below and pre-order Ready here.




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Ron Hart

Ron Hart is the Editor-in-Chief of Rock and Roll Globe. Reach him on Twitter @MisterTribune.

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