There are things you never get too old for: laughter, puppies, learning something new, dancing to a favorite song. Then there are things you do get too old for, like constantly being played by someone you're in a relationship with. That's the basis of "Too Old for This," one of the simpler-sounding songs on Set Your Sights, the upcoming fourth album from Georgia indie collective the Good Graces.
Throughout the album, vocalist Kim Ware (who helped get the group together in 2006) maintains the heart-on-your-sleeve, emotional rollercoaster class of writing she proliferates on her previous albums. Jumping between elements of folk, indie, and ambient music (with some church bells and steel pedal guitar in there too) Ware and company have created an album that will appeal to fans of bands like Cayetana or Bright Eyes without ever feeling like folk music is being forced down their throats. That's a tough line to toe, and the Good Graces do it well. "I just appreciate so many types of music," she says. "I think it [the album] has heart, and it really spans the spectrum of emotions."
"Set Your Sights is about focusing on what's important, what's good, what's honest and what's real," Ware says of the album. "As a record, it can be a little all over the place I guess, genre-wise, but if it were one-note, that wouldn't have been as honest a reflection of me."
Listeners might be hesitant at first to experience the whiplash of going from a song like the more ambient and acoustic "Out There"—which feels a lot like a Bright Eyes outtake—to "Broke in Two," a swinging and soulful tune that could have come from any town east of the Mississippi. A soaring guitar and searing steel intro means the song feels more in the vein of the Eagles than anything else. The fact that it doesn't feel out of place at all on the record is a testament to Ware's talent.
Thought it's the group's fourth album, that doesn't mean Ware didn't experience her share of jitters working on it. "It was sometimes daunting," Ware says. "It was my first time working with Jonny Daly, who produced the record with me. I often felt like I was under a microscope and it was easy to fall into being really self-critical, especially at first. But the longer we worked on it the more it became clear that being real meant focusing on that honesty rather than perfection. So that's what I tried to really go for -- that emotional, real take rather than the perfect one."
It's that emotional, real take that makes the album that much more personal. Set Your Sights is out tomorrow, July 7, but you can stream it below now.