Music

Liana Gabel Tackles Love, Addiction With the Folk-Jazz of "Fool" (premiere)

Photo: Tola Brennan / Courtesy of Howlin' Wuelf Media

Folk artist Liana Gabel offers a remarkably fresh sound and fresh take on matters of the heart with "Fool". And it comes with a comical twist.

Liana Gabel's video for "Fool", from her album Go Outside, is an infectious song that touches on love, addiction, and maybe even the intersection of the two. What's more remarkable is that Gabel's approach feels fresh, as though she were the first to stumble upon this combination. She proves herself a remarkable voice with a unique perspective on the world.

Gabel says that the video for the tune came in part at the insistence of her friend, Tola Brennan, who directed the video and also appears in it. Brennan brought in Angel Gates Fonseca as cinematographer. "Tola ran with the idea," she says. "We filmed it in my basement, which had this industrial look. The song is kind of comical and Tola really brought that out."

Some of the material on this album came together during a residency that you had.

It was a residency where I could write for a month. I was at the Sanctuary in Arcata, California where there were students from Humboldt State University students working through issues related to sustainability. But I was also focused on personal sustainability. There were several songs that came out of that.

What did it mean to you as a composer to have a residency?

It means focus. It meant everything, especially for someone like me, who has a hard time focusing. I was able to be in multiple ecosystems. I could walk the Redwood Forest or watch bees making honey.

What was appealing about jazz?

I couldn't stand the pressure of studying classical music in college. When I found jazz, I found that I could express myself.

What made Daniel Nickerson the right person to co-produce the album?

He's a dynamic musician. He can play bass, drums, guitar, he can record. He's super-fun to work with. He's a good collaborative partner who suggested things I wouldn't have thought of. We had a positive working relationship. He's also a great writer and fun person. He talked through the process, even when we disagreed.


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