For Funland, the Sophomore album by English-born, New York-based multi-instrumentalist songwriter Coyle Girelli, the theme was simple; “It’s about fun”. Perhaps it was writing it mostly in lockdown and the dreaming of the life he would live once it ended, but Girelli latest seeks out “An escape into a night of debauchery, lust, or whatever you want to find in the night”.
The album’s fourth and final single before “Do You Wanna Dance?” sounds like a lost 80’s club bop, echoing groups like New Order and The Cure at their most playful. Girelli kindly took some time to answer some questions about the writing of the track.
Indy Review: How did you get started in music? What were your initial inspirations?
Coyle Girelli: I’ve been creating music for as long as I can remember. I wrote books and stories as soon as I could write and I’d make a theme tune for everything I was doing when I was a kid. Then when I was about 11 or 12, I got a guitar for my birthday and taught myself how to play it to Oasis and Nirvana tunes, and have been writing songs constantly ever since. It was just always there I guess. I had pages and pages of lyrics and stories everywhere. I just remember spending hours listening to album after album, song after song and obsessing over them. First song I remember is “Radio Gaga” by Queen.
IR: How did your latest single “Do You Want to Dance?” germinate?
CG: Funland was written during the early days of the pandemic lockdown. I had left New York and was holed up in the woods of Vermont. I just threw myself into creating there. It came together pretty quickly. First with the riff and the vibe. Then I remember a very mumbled first vocal over it. Within a couple of hours I had the song together. It took about 3 glasses of red wine.
IR: You’ve said you always let “the voice kind of lead the way” when writing a song. How did it lead you with this song?
CG: I love how the melody moves in the chorus of this one. Just letting the voice do its thing here and the rest of the music support it.
IR: How did writing the song in lockdown that effect the songwriting process?
CG: I think I was writing so instinctively during that period that I just wasn’t really second guessing, anything so it all came together very quickly. I threw myself into it and before I knew it it was done. The hard part came in keeping that initial feeling and vibe as I took it into the studio in New York to finish.
IR: You’ve described “Do You Want to Dance?” as “a jangly New Order, The Smiths tinged driving Ameri-Britana feeling tunes about happily chasing a girl who’s no good into the glorious dark of a messy night” – was the track’s narrative inspired by a real life experience?
CG: I was missing New York, friends, the lights, the sounds and smells of the city and everyone in it. I have had many a night like the one that inspired the song so not really one in particular but rather it’s like a daydream.
IR: What was it about the sound of artists like New Order and The Smiths that played so well into the track’s narrative for you?
CG: Well being from that part of the world I’ve always loved and been influenced by bands such as New Order and The Smiths and there was something about the rhythm of this one that seemed like it was asking for some of those sounds in there.
IR: I love the guitar sound you capture on the track. Did you have that tone in mind when you began writing the song, or was there some experimenting, trial & error that went into finding that perfect tone?
CG: It’s usually always a bit of trial and error when I’m finding guitar tones. I messed around for a while with it. And then when Simon Kafka came in to add guitar to the recordings it ended up being a mixture of the two tones – both his and mine that seemed to work best.
IR: How does the track tie-in to the entire new album Funland? “Do You Wanna Dance?” is track 3 on Funland.
CG: There’s momentum and energy to the first part of the record that sets the scene for the lighter moments and “Do You Wanna Dance?” is for sure a highlight on there, taking you on a messy night out. It’s sandwiched in-between “Fun” and “From 7th Street with Love.””
Take a listen to “Do You Wanna Dance?” in our A Single Sit-Down Playlist, and hear the whole album this Friday, February 25th!