The Jazzy Sidney Gish
Words from Sidney Gish
By Steffen Armstrong
"I've had a passing interest in jazz for a while, nothing I've actually studied seriously, I'm okay at theory, but as a player I'm totally a baby", admits Sidney Gish. Her new record No Dogs Allowed utilises jazzy chord progressions and song structures which prove the perfect back-drop for Gish's own 'Great American Songbook' endeavor, AKA to create a golden book of timelessness. "I like listening to jazz" she continues, "but I like it best hidden in songs that are good anyway, like vegetables hidden in brownies or something".
Narrative and storytelling are Gish's trump cards. Where last year's Ed Buys Houses was the first signs of the talent, No Dogs Allowed proves it wasn't a fluke. Intrigue lies in Gish's technique; writing songs as melodies first, and then adding in lyrics that sometimes don't go with it. She bends and makes it work as a sentence, or in some cases, just ignores the process altogether and spews out the first nonsense she feels like. For example, I'm Filled With Steak, and Cannot Dance.
The track utilizes some classic 'Gishisms' from the last record, like double tracking and strong bass line clickage, both of which loosely cement the lyrical style into place. There's also a natural charm about the delivery. "I had all these VHS videos already, and I felt like it fit the best with that vibe. For me, the sparkly arpeggios hit the same kind of vibe sonically that the fake camera fuzz does visually", says Gish. Together with a jazz inspired approach to chord structure and the importance placed on melody, there's a real effervescence to the album.
Indeed, there's continuation from Ed Buys Houses, but for the last time it seems. "What they've got in common is the work pattern it took to make them – totally inactive on the recording front for most of the year, then working through the night over winter break"...
..."After doing that for the second year in a row, I feel more motivated than ever to just get up and record, as opposed to trying to plan out an album before I make it, since that never works". Gish points towards some helpful advice from the archive of Bill Wurtz. Do things in the now, you can't hold things back, you can't create two separate worlds of creativity and storage.