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Exciting news from Grace yesterday as she announced a 23 day U.S. tour (with a little stop in Toronto Canada) to begin on August 10th at the Railbird Music Festival and run its course, on a very busy schedule, through until September 20th. A November date at Wonderfest is also listed, but that’s not really connected to the tour proper.

The promotional blitz for the tour announcement has been very impressive with a legitimate media ranging from Rolling Stone, Billboard, Just Jared Jr. spreading the news as well as dozens of local news outlets. Expect more as the week progresses.

We were also told the drop date for the new single, June 28th, and, yes, it is going to be “Ur So Beautiful”!

Very exciting, as are the venues Grace will be playing. Despite not having released very much over the last year, Grace will be playing venues of similar size, and in some cases, even ones larger than those she played on her sold out 2017 “Just the Beginning” tour.

Even more exciting, at least to this fan, is Dave VanderWaal’s tease (via Twitter) that Grace will be debuting many unreleased songs on the tour, and not all at once, but shared selectively on different dates! That’s marketing!

Many fans, this one included, have been speculating as to whether or not this tour is really in support of a single, or building to something larger, such as an EP or LP, but I think the answer lies multifold in the success of the single, the tour, and the reception of the new material.

This tour, and single, will be used by Columbia to gauge Grace’s, and her music’s, marketability moving forward.

Based on the photographs provided in the press kit for the tour’s promotion, they seem to be portraying Grace in a far more mature and artistic light. Her purple corduroy outfit is regal in its colour and velvety tones, but uber-casual in its retro 70s cut. Grace’s “Celtic, warrior-princess braids” (full credit to our Fashion Editor Maureen Holley (aka Darksome Night) for coining that term), was in full effect and despite my looking askance at Grace’s description (pre-realization) of it in her WhoWhatWear interview, it looks fantastically cool. Even Grace’s posture/posing for these photographs paints her as a young woman in full possession of her self-confidence and ownership of her beauty (as she herself describes in the tour’s/single’s press package (see the Rolling Stone link above)).

I’m hoping this new look and attitude cross over into a very artistic and flattering music video for Grace’s new single “Ur So Beautiful”. I love Grace’s videos for “Clearly” and “Stray”, but neither capitalized on Grace’s evolving/maturing fashion-model appearance, and at this point it’s necessary to not actively work against it any longer.

I’d also like to see on the USB tour more of the cool/bold fashion decisions she made while supporting Florence + The Machine on the 4 dates she joined the “High as Hope” world tour. Those looks were at complete opposite ends of the spectrum, but both showed off Grace’s personality perfectly. Will she have a different look for every other night, or more on the upcoming tour, with costume changes at the midpoints such as was the case for “Just The Beginning”? I can’t wait to find out.

I’m also keeping my fingers crossed that more local papers will cover/review the concerts as well and finally give Grace some credit for her new music and evolved stagecraft.

About that new music Grace will debut on the tour… Here’s hoping our contest (launched today) https://vandervault.org/contest/ inspires people to capture these new songs as Grace tends to debut material strong. Her Austin City Limits Music Festival (2017) debuts of “Florets”, “A Better Life” and “Talk Good” are still probably her strongest renditions of those songs to date, and of course her debuts of “Stray” and “Ur So Beautiful” at The Slipper Room in NYC were epic. Let’s not allow these unique opportunities to slip away.

June 28th can’t come fast enough! I need new music, and a new music video, desperately, but at least we now know when it’s coming, and it’s coming fast!