Tom Gallo

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Tom Gallo is the host of Look At My Records! on Radio Free Brooklyn.

Love Songs For Nobody In Particular, the new album from Bushwick based musician Sally Boy, is a collection of songs about modern romance. The songs focus on feelings and the variety of emotions that come with relationships: love, loss, loneliness, lunacy, and more.  That same variety of emotion is also reflected in Sally Boy’s unique writing and recording process in which these songs came together, as he recorded the majority of the material on the road. The hotel rooms and airplanes that birthed the songs play a special role, giving the feelings represented in the lyrics and mood another dimension.

Photo by Tom Pellegrino

We caught up recently with Sally Boy to talk all about the process behind Love Songs For Nobody In Particular:

Tell us a little bit about the concept behind Love Songs For Nobody In Particular?

I was making music for a bit while I was in a relationship. Then I stopped and wasn’t really writing. After a while, I started again, but I was writing songs without a real project to attribute them to. So, my friend Jay suggested that I put a bunch of songs together for a specific project. I had all these songs that I wrote, but they weren’t really written about anyone or anything in particular. They just captured a vibe and a feeling. They capture all those little in between moments in and out of relationships –  like when you go home with someone, and you don’t expect to start dating them for six months. Or when you can sense that a relationship is ending. It’s a lot of tiny vignettes about dating in New York – what relationships mean and a lot of small snippets of life. There’s a lot of self-reflection in the context of that.

Would you say the songs have a unifying theme? Or does each stand alone?

It’s weird – they all definitely have a similar vibe. They’re not about one person and there’s not a story that links them all together. It’s almost like a mental state of confusion, but at the same time, learning to understand myself and becoming comfortable with myself. I’ve played a lot of different types of music. I’ve played in hardcore bands and punk bands. I’ve created rap beats for friends. There are bits and pieces of all those genres in there. It’s a statement. I just decided that I wanted to put out an album about being in your 20s and not knowing what you want. It’s about emotional maturity and learning about yourself. 

This is your first proper solo album. What made you decide to release it?

I sat down and realized I have like 40 hours of music. My friend Jay really encouraged me to put out a solo project after we started living together. He encouraged me to not care what people think and to just do it. 

You recorded this album all over the place. Was that purposeful? Do the songs reflect the surroundings where you recorded them? 

Originally, I recorded 6 of the first 12 as demos. I recorded them, added new vocals, new synths, and changed some lyrics.  I travel a lot for work, so that was a big factor. These songs were written and recorded on planes and in hotel rooms. I’ve been all over the place in the last year, and I decided that I should just make music whenever I can. I bring an interface with me, a MIDI keyboard, and a microphone so that I can write and record wherever I am. I honestly really like doing it like that. I don’t know if I’d record everything in one place ever. 

How did that type of recording process influence the sound of the record?

I think for some it had a big influence. I do wish there could be live drums on the album, but that wasn’t possible with the timeline that I set for myself. One thing I want for the next one is to have more live instruments. For the album, some parts were recorded in Garageband, and then put through Logic, and then put through Ableton. So, that makes it sound different and it’s a little all over the place, but it definitely gives it a certain vibe.  

For songs that were recorded in hotel rooms, they’re basically pretty similar surroundings that I think you can feel when listening to it. Hotel rooms are all sad, desolate places. It inspired me to put my emotions into it.  Nobody can hear you in a hotel, so if you’re yelling at the top of your lungs in a hotel room, nobody can hear you. It’s this special sad place of privacy. It’s a weird vibe where you don’t feel at home, but you don’t feel held back and can really let go.

Anything else you’d like to add? 

All proceeds from sales of Love Songs For Nobody In Particular and my other album Songs To Stay Inside To will be donated to DonatePPE.Org.

You can purchase Love Songs For Nobody In Particular via Bandcamp.

All photos courtesy of Sally Boy.

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