We have a very special Song of the Day and video exclusive from Gramercy Arms along with a Q&A with Joan Wasser (Joan as Police Woman) and Lloyd Cole as well as some words from Reveal Records head man Tom Rose.
Gramercy Arms and director Tryan George have teamed up to create a haunting and gorgeous video for the band’s second single “Beautiful Disguise” from their second album “The Seasons of Love.”
Featuring performances from Lloyd Cole and Joan Wasser (Joan As Police Woman) who sing a duet on the recording, the experimental short film evokes comparisons to “Lost Horizon”-era David Lynch and even Grey Gardens.
Fittingly for the NYC based collective–which revolves around songwriter and producer Dave Derby (The Dambuilders, Lloyd Cole) and musicians from Luna, Guided by Voices, Nada Surf, The Throwing Muses, A Girl Called Eddy, Mascott and others–the video was an artistic collboration between Derby, George, Wasser, Cole and stylist Karen Levitt.
“We wanted to go for a classic 60s French New Wave approach to making the video,” explains Derby. “Before shooting we spent a fair amount of time discussing the back-story of the characters and let Joan and Lloyd go with what they thought made the most sense for their characters.”
Wasser and Cole play an eccentric and emotionally isolated musical duo who are living in a decaying mansion amidst remnants of their former glories. Wasser’s character parades through the house in flamboyant costumes while Cole’s is detached and obsessive. The house—a late 19th century mansion in New Haven, Connecticut—is a character itself.
The video was made during a small window between Cole and Wasser’s hectic touring schedules and was deliberately experimental. “There’s a concept in there but it’s fairly blurred,” explains Derby. “Tryan (George) kept pushing to take the video in weirder places and we embraced those polar opposites. None of us wanted to make a typical video and the goal was to be almost anti-video.”
We spoke earlier to Tom Rose of Reveal Records about the video who said “I’m delighted so many people are getting to hear Gramercy Arms a project we have been working hard on for several years. That two of my all time favourite singers (Lloyd Cole and Joan Wasser) are duetting on Beautiful Disguise and share a mutual admiration for each other’s work (and love for Dave Derby’s songwriting) is a dream come true. Feels perfect things should be this way given I followed Lloyd’s music since the mid 80’s and Joan was Reveal’s first label signing. Everyone involved was so generous with their time and art. I love the film for this song by Tryan George.”
Q&A With Joan Wasser and Lloyd Cole
Q: What were your favorite things about making the video?
Joan Wasser: Getting to explore the outer edges of ridiculousness in a variety of ludicrous outfits with some of my oldest and best friends.
Lloyd Cole: Working with Joan. I adore Joan. And there is always good pizza when Dave is involved.
Q: How did you create or get into your character?
JW: Combo Grey Gardens and AbFab … no creation or acting necessary, this is a natural state of being for me
LC:I don’t understand acting, I’m not an actor, but I had to act, so I tried to behave as I thought my character would.
Q: What do you like about the video?
JW: The absolute absurdity of every second of it
LC: It is beautiful.
Q: How was it different from videos you’ve been in before?
JW: I got to duet-sing face to face Babs/ Gibb style with Lloyd… dream come true!
LC:Completely different. It isn’t my video. I deferred to the stylist and director, as an actor must.
Q: Anything else you want to add?
JW: I think the vid speaks for itself…
LC:I love this song and I’m so happy Dave asked me to sing on it.
Joan as Police Woman & LAU
Joan As Police Woman plays as part of
Lau-Land Edinburgh at The Queens Hall on Fri Nov 28
‘The Seasons of Love ‘ is Out Now Order via Reveal Records