Singer and guitarist Palmyra Delran is best known for founding the '90s retro garage-pop band the Friggs. She kept a low profile throughout the early aughts, with Friggs reissues and a children's album called KinderAngst. Now, she’s releasing her solo debut, called You Are What You Absorb (out Mar 5th).
Why a solo album now?
I'd been working on these songs for awhile now. My original idea was to put out a box set of 7" vinyl singles, but then I realized that very few would actually hear it. That idea changed into a full length. Parts of it are very much like my other band the Friggs, but some of the songs came out a bit different - like the next chapter.
Tell me about the album title, ‘You Are What You Absorb’?
The title comes from the realization that I've been pinching production ideas for my whole life. Any medium can influence songwriting - movies, book, art, etc... you just keep absorbing the culture around you if you pay attention. I always deconstructed song structures and instrumentation as a weird little kid. I've learned how to write songs in those styles - kind of a loose version of AM radio pop songs, then trash it up a bit. I guess that's my sound.
Can you give me the backstory on the song ‘You're My Brian Jones'?
The original title and concept came when I was stuck in jury duty and reading a Brian Jones biography. His name and character was really just a little piece of the idea, but I drew from the stories I was reading about him. I made the connection that sometimes people have crushes or get obsessed with people they can't or shouldn't be with, and they know it, but keep trying. I had the riff rolling around for awhile, but couldn't quite finish, so I asked my pal Rachelle Garniez to swing by and we finished it together. The harpsichord was definitely a nod to Brian Jones.
The album’s lineup features Rachelle Garniez on Farfisa, Hammond B3, Harpsichord, Michael Lynch on bass, Mark Brotter on drums, Richard Devgreene on guitar, as well as guest backup singers the Cocktail Slippers, Betsy Todd, & Jenifer Jackson.
Gretta joined Soundcheck in 2010, having spent several years as a freelance radio documentary producer. Her stories on birders, fishermen, nurses, performance artists and even the Yale Whiffenpoofs have aired on a variety of outlets, from WNYC's Studio 360 to APM's The Story. She holds a B.A. in American Studies from Brown University and studied radio production at The Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. She was a cellist in the rock band Cursive from 2001-2005.