Offering snapshots of lyrical reflection and intimacy romancing indie pop involvement, Deleted Scenes is the new album from NYC indie rock/power pop outfit GRAMERCY ARMS. It is a release which has been set up in keen anticipation by a couple of potent lead singles but an encounter which takes their potential to a whole new level of captivation.
GRAMERCY ARMS is a revolving collective of musicians and artists, a project created and fronted by Dave Derby (THE DAMBUILDERS, LLOYD COLE)with a sound merging rock, pop and a breeze of 60s sunshine pop and folk-rock nostalgia. As Deleted Scenes proves though, it has a freshness which sweeps the imagination with the album infusing Americana-esque company across its inherent catchiness.
As we said, GRAMERCY ARMS is a collective and for Deleted Scenes, Derby and album producer, recorder and mixer Ray Ketchem (GUIDED BY VOICES, LUNA, ELK CITY) have drawn on the prowess of a host of notable artists including Lloyd Cole, Kevin March (GUIDED BY VOICES, THE DAMBUILDERS, SHUDDER TO THINK), Doug Gillard (GUIDED BY VOICES, NADA SURF), Sean Eden (LUNA), Rainy Orteca (JOAN AS POLICE WOMAN), Mark Lizotte (DIESEL), Rafa Maciejak (LLOYD COLE AND THE NEGATIVES), Phoebe Summersquash (SMALL FACTORY) and a great many more in its writing and performance.
Mastered by award-winning engineer Greg Calbi (JOHN LENNON, DAVID BOWIE, BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, TALKING HEADS, PATTI SMITH, TOM PETTY, TODD RUNDGREN), Deleted Scenes opens with that pair of lead tracks. Yesterday’s Girl kicks things off, a song penned between Derby and music legend LLOYD COLE which was originally written for DARLENE LOVE’S solo album, Introducing Darlene Love. Reimagined by Derby and Ketchem with a duet between Derby and Renée Lo Bue (ELK CITY, FLOWERS OF AMERICA) at its heart, the track gently breaks within ears while aligning a melodic caress with an enticing hook. The song’s melodic jangle lies amid keen rhythmic coaxing and both continue to swing infection as the song further opens; the guitars of Mike Errico and Derby and Cole’s keys alongside the beats of Kevin Marchan casting an organic draw around the equally alluring vocal union.
It is a potent start soon escalated by the immediately virulent Tricky Love Stuff. Instantly sharing a sixties pop romancing with eighties indie pop eagerness, the track strolls along with a smile in its breath all the while sharing the summery melodic tendrils of violinist Claudia Chopek (BRIGHT EYES, THE LITTLE RIVER BAND). With the heat cast by sax of Peter Hess (PHILLIP GLASS ENSEMBLE, ANTI-SOCIAL MUSIC, SLAVIC SOUL PARTY) adding to the temptation, the track is a spirit rousing incitement of summer pop.
Fucked Up and Beautiful has a shadow to its emotive narrative yet it too bears an instinctive contagion to its gait and character as it unveils its inner protagonist. There is also a brooding angst to it which fuels flumes of melodic rock while the following Never Say Anything, with a spring in its step, draws on the same natural catchiness of its predecessor to go on a sixties rock spiced saunter with just a shade of country pop expression.
Purposeful in its stroll, next up Deleted Scene has a sense of familiarity to its presence yet with its controlled but impassioned air it called the imagination with true freshness especially in its flumes of melodic energy and voice before Passing Through followed with a keen and creatively animated energy all of its own. That Americana essence is to the fore again as the track aligns pleasure ensnaring hooks with lively craft and eager infectiousness, a mix once more involving body, voice and enjoyment.
Across the even paced stroll of It’s Hard Not To Love You, another moment embracing a glowing duet, and Over Under Love with its glam pop kissed revelry, it is fair to say that ears only enjoyed undiluted pleasure. Both songs took a firm hold with the latter emerging one of our major favourites to be swiftly joined by the rock pop/ new wave glory of Feel Your Way, each under the skin in no time and burrowing deeper by the listen.
Completed by the soulful yet energy animated, sixties pop/rock celebrating I Hope I’m Not Too Late, the track another rich web of craft and invention within the release, Deleted Scenes quickly proved and, with every listen, eagerly cemented itself a pleasure drawing adventure; the album a hug for dark days and companion for heart-warming moments.
Deleted Scenes is out now via the MAGIC DOOR RECORD LABEL; available @ https://gramercyarms1.bandcamp.com/album/deleted-scenes
Pete RingMaster 23/03/2023
Copyright RingMaster Review
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