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Music

Gregory Ackerman "Don't Need Nothin'" on His New Single (premiere)

Photo: Henry Burge (Courtesy of Fanatic Promotion)

With his new single, singer-songwriter Gregory Ackerman scrutinizes society and reminds us of the positive changes that we can invite into our lives with some simple changes of habit.

On Gregory Ackerman's upcoming album, And Friends, we are all invited to the party. The LP was created by Ackerman and his actual friends, and the warmth that emanates from the music immediately pulls listeners in. Prior to its 25 May release via V2/Munich, the singer-songwriter embraces self-healing while scrutinizing the current way that much of society operates. Simple changes to our daily routine, he infers, can make us a lot happier in the long run than if we keep going the way we're going.

The song itself is bathed in Californian moonlight, reminiscent of folk and soft rock music coming from the West Coast in the '60s and '70s. Ackerman's gentle voice is soothing straight out of the gate, with gorgeous female backing vocals elevating the track on its chorus. Crunchy guitar riffs meet with the twang of melancholic pedal steel, spindling piano flourishes, and persistent percussion to complete a nostalgic, yet forward-looking feeling that "Don't Need Nothin'" emanates.

On the song's background, Ackerman tells PopMatters in a lengthy statement:

"I remember this song coming together during separate occasions. One night, upon returning home from a long day of work at Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, I picked up my guitar and started strumming some chords. I remember the words coming to me immediately: No we don't need nothing, nothing at all. No we don't need nothing, nothing at all! I remember falling in love with that concept right away. We don't need nothing! It felt like a collective shout into oblivion that I and everyone was okay. We don't need a thing, we are good in this life."

"I added the first verse when I went down to the beach a few days later, and picked up my guitar again on a beautiful warm California night with a full moon rising and a nice breeze:

It's a sure-shot night for living in the moment
When you're in full-sight of a moon that's taking over
While the moon she slowly slips out sight
There's a westward wind that's blowing off the coast"

"I then added the second verse after coming back from a camping trip and realizing how great it was to be off my phone for a while. I started thinking about how the city is full of everyone on their phones in their own worlds, yet surrounded by real world people at the same time. That dichotomy interested me, and I started writing:

The city's full of geeks on their phones
And we got no more room for being alone
With our thoughts anymore'
Cause everyone's behind their closed doors"

"But I didn't want to sound like I was whining. I wanted to have a positive attitude still, so I urged the listener. I know it sounds like I am just complaining... and even, to use that phone for something good! Quit looking at people you don't know, following lives you don't live, and use your phone for good use. Or just quit looking at your phones all the time (I'm guilty of this), and call an old friend to catch up:pick up that phone and call your old friend!"

"But mostly this song is about trying to be content in life. We don't need anything. Our capitalistic society so often pushes unnecessary products and technologies on us that we don't need. You don't need anything to be "cooler" or "better". Sometimes you just want to say, I'm good, I don't need a thing. And that felt very liberating to acknowledge that."

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