music review: Gramercy Arms:

GramercyArms_Front_HiRes

Gramercy Arms sounds like a Melrose Place-like apartment complex, the apartments enclose [or surround or encompass or overlook?] a pool. Sorta motel-style. Everyone hangs out. Gramercy Arms is a revolving NYC-based collective of musicians and artists established by vocalist/ guitarist Dave Derby (Dambuilders) and musicians Kevin March (drums), Rainy Orteca (bass) and Sean Eden (guitar).

In the vibe of Melrose Place, well-known indie artists drop by to create songs with them over the course of five years. The artists include: Lloyd Cole; Matthew Caws [Nada Surf]; Claudia Gonson [Magnetic Fields]; Tanya Donelly [Belly, Throwing Muses]; Hilken Mancini [The Monsieurs, the Count Me Outs, Fuzzy]; Kay Hanley; Peter Hess [TV on the Radio, The Hold Steady]; Verena Wiesendanger [Nous Non Plus, Semi Gloss] and Eleanor Norton [Elton John, Kanye West].

These collaborations resulted in a collection of laid-back, eclectic pop songs. “Winterlight” is a truly upbeat, catchy song. “The Night is Your Only Friend” is bluesy, soulful and piano-tinged [with haunting backing vocals by Kay Hanley]. Strings propel the wistful “Playing with Fire.” and the 70s retro “Yours Truly.” Beautiful, emotional songs with intriguing arrangements. “The Seasons of Love” is a stunning, rich swirly concoction with horns and the muted, gravelly backing vocals of Tanya Donelly, Verena Wiesendanger, Kendall Meade [Helium, Sparklehorse], Hilken Mancini and Sandy Smallens [Too Much Joy]. “Thin,” an exploration on truth and facades, is another masterful track where Derby’s moody vocals mesh exquisitely with the delicate, soothing vocals of Meade and Mancini.

The Seasons of Love
Reveal Records
Out now.

Gramercy Arms facebook

Advertisements

, , , , , ,

%d bloggers like this: