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Gramercy Arms - The Making Of The Making Of (Magic Door Record Label)

25 April 2024

It is interesting to hear Musical Master-At (Gramercy)-Arms, Dave Derby describe their new album, The Making Of The Making Of, as a companion piece to their previous long-player, Deleted Scenes. As he points out, the former felt more like the apparent A-sides, whereas this new collection, garnered from the same session, he regards, to some degree, as the less immediate B-sides. (Those under 30 should ask an appropriate adult what the terms A-sides and B-sides mean.)

I find this interesting because anyone who can put out an album as consummate and full of cool songs as The Making Of The Making Of and consider it the lesser of the two, at least in terms of immediacy and accessibility and infectiousness, obviously has benchmarks so high that I begin to wonder whether other, lesser mortals can even see them.

I mean, I get what he is saying, but if you hear a song such as the opener, “After the After Party,” and don’t consider it one of those singles that perfectly straddles popularity and poise, chart potential and also satisfies more discerning tastes, then I would have to question their sanity—or at least their hearing.

Yes, there are more considered and less immediate songs. “Alaska” is restrained and reflective, “Never Say Anything” takes us into acoustic pop understatement, and “The Long Game” may take a few spins before revealing its greatness. (I feel the same about a lot of Wilco numbers, and look at how wonderful they are.) But even these shine with that deft blend of maturity and pop poise, infectiousness, and authenticity that makes them so much more than just, for want of a better term, album tracks.

Gramercy Arms is that rare thing. It is a band that makes great albums AND writes killer singles, and you don’t get many of them to the pound, certainly not in this day and age.

The Making Of The Making Of album
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Magic Door Record Label · Gramercy Arms The Making Of The Making Of