Houston-born singer-songwriter Grace Womack creates a particularly soulful blend of indie-pop on her latest single, “How We Met”. Womack has been performing since she was nine, so perhaps it’s not surprising that she’s turning out winning tunes while still a student at the University of Texas. Womack’s music is focused on the personal, examining her relationships with friends and lovers. Her dexterous voice slides and glides around the melodies of “How We Met” while funky rhythm guitars slash away and little bits of lead guitar play tease with her vocals.
Womack will be releasing her debut EP, Yellow Cowboy Hat, on 13th August. Her future looks especially bright with catchy songs like “How We Met”, her sophisticated soul-pop, and charisma as an artist. Below, Womack tells PopMatters about her new song and what inspires her.
Hear this song on the PM Picks Spotify playlist.
Every song has something that brings it into being. What inspired you to write this song? What is the story behind it? What is it about?
I had just moved to Nashville, fresh out of a long, serious relationship, and decided I would download the classic dating apps — Tinder, Bumble, you know the ones. I put my little profile together and started swipin’. I matched with this one guy, just a random 20-something-year-old boy who went to Vanderbilt like everyone else I was matching with, and we started messaging. We were supposed to meet up, but the timing just wasn’t working out, and I still, to this day, have never met him. There wasn’t anything about him specifically that made me want to write the song. But I remember comparing my last relationship with someone I met “organically” and wondering what my parents would think if I brought home a guy from an app. They’re pretty old-fashioned when it comes to dating (boy has to come to the door every single time, the boy should treat me like a princess at all times, etc.), but they’re also very funny, so I bet they’d just laugh at us and tell us that we should maybe tell people we met at a party or something instead.
Did you also turn to friends to hear their stories? Do you think dating apps make it easier or harder to meet people? Have you ever taken someone you met through a dating app home to meet your parents?
It is sort of based on my personal experiences, but also definitely borrows from some of my friends’ experiences too. I’ve been on maybe four dating app dates in my life, and all of them were rather uneventful in the scheme of things (my first one, though, I did make all of my friends go to the coffee shop to make sure he wasn’t a serial killer). You always meet people who say they met their husband or wife on one of these apps, and every time a hairdresser or podcaster makes their little Tinder testimony, it gives me a little bit of hope that maybe I’ll find someone.
I think it makes it easier to meet people, but the caliber of the people you meet can be very hit or miss. I’ve had some very interesting exchanges on all the different apps, but it’s allowed me to meet many more people than I would’ve without it. Maybe it just helps me know what I’m NOT looking for. I have certainly not taken a Tinder date home to meet my parents, but if the right eligible bachelor happens to make his way into my Bumble messages, maybe I’d think about it.
Your songs in general have a sort of “coming from my diary” feeling to them; they feel quite personal in nature, even if they aren’t always that way. Do you tend to write from a very personal place all of the time?
Thank you! I tend to write from a personal place all of the time, but I love to borrow narratives from my friends’ experiences as well, most of which I can also relate to. I find a lot of inspiration from small moments that I can create stories out of, so even a thought about a Tinder match I never met can become a full-fledged song on my EP. I won’t say that I’m the most experienced person of all time at only 20, but I try to think about what I’ve gone through that could be relatable to others while still keeping it personal and adding touches that allude to specific details from my own life. I’ve started to realize over the past year or so that a lot of our experiences that we feel isolated or alone in are really things that everyone has dealt with and maybe just avoided talking about for the same reason. We all live more similar existences than I think we realize, and I try to write lyrics that people can see themselves in, no matter if that’s a borderline cliched line about a dating app or a specific detail about a friend I once had
Who are your biggest musical inspirations in general? And which artists informed the music on the EP the most as far as influences go? How about with this particular song… what sort of vibe were you going for on it?
I’d say my biggest musical inspirations at this point in my life/career are Sara Bareilles, Lake Street Dive, and Sammy Rae. I am so inspired by female artists who write with honesty and bring an interesting and new sound to the table, and I try to contribute to that. As far as this particular EP, I wanted it to be varied in its sounds and vibes from song to song. I wanted to try and present a range of instrumentation and genres in just the six songs on the EP. I took inspiration from the artists I mentioned before along with the funky, eclectic background vocals and instrumentation of songs by Allen Stone, the authenticity and simplicity of songs by Lizzy McAlpine, and the raw, old school vibes of The Beatles and Linda Ronstadt.
With this particular song, I wanted to create a sort of juxtaposition between the very modern subject matter and a more vintage, old-school funk sound. I took a lot of inspiration from the bands Lake Street Dive and Lawrence, both of whom I think do an excellent job writing about timeless issues with this more funky, traditional sound. I wanted it to feel like something you could jam to in your car or at a bar even if you’ve never been on a dating app in your life, just because the music is so fun.