Independent artist, activist and social commentator Grace Petrie shares her brilliant new single, ‘Storm To Weather‘.
‘Storm to Weather‘ is from Petrie’s upcoming album ‘Connectivity’, the follow-up to 2018’s critically acclaimed, ‘Queer As Folk‘, the album that catapulted Petrie from cult status to mainstream attention.
As a successful touring artist, the last 18 months have brought many challenges for Petrie. With her sold-out tour in Australia cut short due to the pandemic, Petrie, like many others, was forced to commence her longest ever period in one place. The unique circumstance of the pandemic triggered a whirlwind of emotions and responses to a world turned upside-down, a world in which people were suddenly more isolated than ever, yet globally united in common experience. This forced an initially uncomfortable time out and birthed a new chapter in Petrie’s songwriting.
‘Storm to Weather‘, is a rousing folk anthem sparked by Petrie’s personal, political, and pandemic-related isolation, and sees her offering up exuberant and defiant response to these most testing of times. Recorded with full folk band force, the song is an excellent stomp-along, with Ben Moss on fiddle whipping up an appropriate storm. The track thunders along with Petrie’s vocals effortlessly moving from impassioned force to a sweet longing. “There’s a storm here to weather, the thunder’s coming near / Louder than ever and we don’t know where to steer / And though we can’t be together, no matter what my dear / I will love you forever and we will dance again next year.” It’s a beautifully written song with a particularly lovely middle eight that breaks down to almost nothing until it’s picked up with the voices of the various band members coming back in before the final choruses.
Petrie explains what’s behind the song, “Storm to Weather is meant as a message of hope and solidarity from the midst of chaos and separation. The big band feeling is supposed to speak of the better days ahead when gigs and hugs and dancing will return. In a time so marked by loneliness and uncertainty, I found enormous comfort in singing this chorus, especially the lockdown mantra, “We will dance again next year”… With a planet in crisis, a government hellbent on ever-harsher anti-immigration legislation and with protest itself on the verge of outlaw, the need for speaking out and for the music of solidarity has never felt more urgent.”
The promo is directed by Fraser West and it couldn’t really give a more striking portrait of Petrie’s unflinching commitment to her music. Petrie is filmed in a cold, grey sea, literally up to her neck, as she battles to play her acoustic guitar while she’s battered by the waves. It really does look like a full on struggle for the singer just to keep her head above water. It’s powerful and moving, especially as the release coincides with the news stories of the now inevitable horrors so many millions of people will face as sea levels continue to rise.
All in all, a powerful package from a performer who manages to combine impressive folk artistry with fearless political awareness and activism.