Parkes musician Gracey Denham-Jones featuring on compilation album

BETTER DAYS AHEAD: Parkes' Gracey Denham-Jones features on a new album of Central West artists with her original song, Wait.
BETTER DAYS AHEAD: Parkes' Gracey Denham-Jones features on a new album of Central West artists with her original song, Wait.

There are brighter days ahead, so hang in there.

That's the message Parkes' Gracey Denham-Jones hopes to share through her new song, which features on a Central West compilation album.

Gracey, an acoustic singer songwriter with a country flair, penned Wait for an Arts OutWest project which brought together 15 artists to create a "sound capsule" of this time in our lives.

While the World Waits was created in response to the impacts of COVID-19 on the local music industry and includes artists from Bathurst, Cowra, Orange, Hampton, Millthorpe, Grenfell, Lake Cargelligo, O'Connell, Forbes and Canowindra.

Artists were invited to reflect on their experiences of 2020, and Gracey says the year had its challenges.

She was preparing for her HSC and suddenly found herself without face-to-face time with teachers in music and arts, the dance classes she teaches went online.

This year, Gracey has been performing almost every weekend until lockdowns hit. Things started slowing down with the Sydney outbreak and now obviously they've ground to a halt.

"I love the crowd and being able to interact with audiences," Gracey said.

"The crowd determines the songs I sing - I miss that audience interaction and seeing their faces."

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Wait is number 13 on the album and it is a little different to Gracey's other original songs, which are mostly inspired by family.

"It's around the whole concept of resilience, we've got to focus on what's good rather than what's not, and be grateful," she said.

"It's tough, but we've got to hold on and hope for better days ahead."

Gracey has a lot of empathy for this year's Year 12 students who have had their HSC preparations upended by COVID-19 related lockdown.

"Hang in there" would once again be her message to the class of 2021.

"You can't dwell on it," she said.

"Everyone is in the same boat."

It was tough, she said, but she did get through and even achieved a Band 6 result in music.

Keep looking for the bright spots, and one of those for Gracey is the upcoming album release she's excited for.

Arts OutWest executive director Tracey Callinan said the album was a trip across the whole central west.

"This collection of songs is a cathartic expression about 2020, but it is also a musical journey across the Central West," she said.

The album will be launched via an online performance on the Arts OutWest Facebook page.

CD copies of the album can be purchased for $10 from artsoutwest.org.au and - when COVID restrictions ease - from visitor information centres and other retail outlets around the region.

Digital versions of each track will also be available from each artists' preferred platform or site - head to Gracey Denham-Jones Facebook page to find out more or visit www.artsoutwest.org.au for links.

Gracey plans to have it on Spotify, Apple Music and other platforms in coming days.

"We hope these tracks can also be an entry point for people to discover these musicians' other work," Ms Callinan said.

The album was funded by the NSW Government's Arts Restart package. Proceeds from CD sales go back into supporting local musicians and live music events in the NSW Central West.