Gramercy Arms “F*cked Up and Beautiful”
NYC indie rock outfit Gramercy Arms presents ‘F*cked Up and Beautiful’ (including the clean companion version: ‘Messed Up and Beautiful’), the third single from their acclaimed third album ‘Deleted Scenes’, released by New Jersey-based Magic Door Record Label.
Opening with the couplet “Back in school she lived so decadently / She took literature and LSD”, this autobiographically-inspired song reflects on frontman Dave Derby‘s undergraduate love affair with a combination of humor, nostalgia, and wistfulness.
In addition to the core of Dave Derby (The Dambuilders, Lloyd Cole), Kevin March (Guided By Voices, Shudder To Think, Quiz Show) and Rainy Orteca (Joan As Police Woman), the song features gorgeous vocals by Verena Wiesendanger (Semi-Gloss) and lush pedal steel textures by John Leon (Royal Arctic Institute).
The accompanying video is a highly collaborative effort of band members recording themselves performing the song in remote locations. Featured here are Derby, Hilken Mancini (Fuzzy), Jessie Kilguss, Mike Errico, Doug Gillard (Guided by Voices), Chris Robertson (Elk City), Peter Hess (The Phillip Glass Ensemble), Gary Burton (Dovedale), Richard Alwyn Fisher (King Canutes), Phoebe Summersquash (Small Factory), as well as the Mack Family (Honey, Leila, and Theo).
“I guess you could say the basic video concept is what you might call a loose version of lo-tech sci-fi,” explains Derby. “The members of the band are supposed to be using a near-future technology sort of like the headsets in the 2013 film ‘Her’ that allows us all to sync up and perform the song virtually.”
A revolving collective, Gramercy Arms is inspired by the artistic heyday of ‘70-80s New York. Their addictive indie pop features exquisite hook-laden melodies that are lyrically driven and rich on vocal-harmony, interspersed with elements of 60s sunshine pop and folk-rock. ‘Deleted Scenes’ follows ‘The Seasons of Love’ (2012) and **’Gramercy Arms’ **(2008).
Produced, recorded and mixed by Ray Ketchem (Guided By Voices, Luna, Elk City) at **Magic Door Recording **in Montclair, NJ, this album was mastered by award-winning engineer Greg Calbi (John Lennon, David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen, Talking Heads, Patti Smith, Tom Petty, Todd Rundgren).
Earlier, Gramercy Arms teased the singles ‘Yesterday’s Girl’ (plus an acoustic version), co-penned with music legend **Lloyd Cole **and performed as a duet with Derby and Renée Lo Bue (Elk City, Flowers of America), and ‘Tricky Love Stuff’, featuring violinist Claudia Chopek (Bright Eyes, The Little River Band), saxophonist Peter Hess (Phillip Glass Ensemble, Anti-Social Music, Slavic Soul Party).
‘Deleted Scenes’ is out now across online platforms, including Apple Music, Spotify and other online stores, as well as Bandcamp.