GRAACE remembers her late father on powerful new single ‘Half Awake’

The emotive new song touches on the singer-songwriter’s experiences with lucid dreaming

Sydney singer-songwriter GRAACE (aka Grace Pitts) has shared a rousing new single titled ‘Half Awake’, announcing alongside it her forthcoming second EP.

Following in the footsteps of her previous single, the aptly titled ‘Sentimental’, this new offering sees Pitts deliver another emotively raw, pared-back ballad that leans more on the boldness of her lyricisms than the impact of the instrumental. It’s carried by a widescreen soundscape of dry, folky acoustic plucks, atmospheric synths and soaring vocal harmonies.

‘Half Awake’ arrives alongside a cinematic video directed and produced by Christopher Quyen (who goes by Seakyu). It adapts the track’s narrative dramatically, following Pitts as she manoeuvres through the various shades of nostalgia and anxiety that dictate a world she conjures up through lucid dreaming. Have a look at the video below:

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In a press release, Pitts explained that ‘Half Awake’ is rooted in her own experiences with lucid dreaming, which as a teenager, she would use to communicate with her late father. Touching on the heartrending story that led to it, she said: “10 years ago I lost my father to a sudden death at the local pool, around the corner from my old family home, when he stopped to swim laps before a surfing trip we had planned that afternoon.

“I’ve always struggled with sleep since his passing. That night, when I was 14, I experienced lucid dreaming for the first time. It started as a tall white elevator tower and he said goodbye to me that night in it. As I grew older I began to love sleep. I think it’s been a side effect of depression but it’s wild to me that when I’m asleep it’s the one time I’m able to talk to him – I taught myself lucid dreaming very quickly after he died.

“I was able to build a town surrounding the white elevator in my dreams that I could revisit most of the time when I tried really hard. Unfortunately, other things started to happen to me on rare occasions, such as sleep paralysis. Sometimes the town emulates my dad’s passing for me at the lake, and I lose control of the dream. But sleep paralysis is something that I’ve learnt to deal with in order to sleep for as long as I can throughout the days and nights so that I can escape reality.”

Alongside the release of ‘Half Awake’ came the news that Pitts would release her second EP as GRAACE, ‘Self Preservation’, next February. It comes as the follow-up to 2019’s ‘Self-Sabotage’ EP, and is described by Pitts as “literally the polar opposite” of that record.

“I think my growth in those three years was pretty immense emotionally,” she continued in her statement. “I love [‘Self Preservation’] so much because it’s not just about heartbreak, I’ve finally been able to write about my father and things that are really, really personal.”

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In a new interview with Women In Pop, Pitts conceded that she fell into a creative slump after the release of ‘Self-Sabotage’, noting that she “wasn’t really growing as an artist”, but was able to overcome that by “just accepting myself and being able to grow and accept that I can move on”.

In addition to ‘Half Awake’ and ‘Sentimental’, the ‘Self Preservation’ EP is set to feature her 2020 single ‘You Do You’. A concrete release date for the record is yet to be locked in.

Earlier this year, Pitts linked up with Running Touch, Set Mo and Motez for a live performance of the former’s track ‘Ceilings’.

Next year, she’ll appear alongside the likes of Amy Shark, Spacey Jane and Skegss at the second edition of Play On The Plains. Taking place at the site of the annual Deniliquin Ute Muster in rural NSW, the festival is set to go down on Saturday March 12.

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