Coyle Girelli

Springsteen, Dylan and Roy Orbison in one room, Puccini and Vivaldi's opera in another. Somewhere in the middle stands Coyle Girelli, listening to his own stuff. Queen and a bundle of 60's music, all in an unexpected yet not at all unorthodox mix, as proven, inside the brit's mind. And this is not simple at all. In many houses, the turntables played nice music, but there were no ears and hearts like Coyle's in all of them. Having migrated in New York, his first album is constantly repeated throughout our interview as having emerged from the combination and presence of a number of elements. Coyle's parents, unwillingly fed their son's soul with various kinds of music that, although very divergent, were capable of cultivating a range of wonderful feelings, leading him to write his own music. 

His debut album "Love Kills" is out since last September and it's outstanding. Its patterns are indeed filled with influences from all the sounds of his childhood years. Pay close attention to the way everything is tied up and explained through his songs. In "Valentine" and "Something strange in the night" it sounds like you're listening to Puccini's opera. In "Naked Soul" Coyle takes from Tom Waits's advice while in "My blue heart" and "Isabella Dances", it feels like Elvis takes his guitar and sheds light on the darkness. In "Never thought I'd see you again", Dylan's voice enters his body and sings just like in the 60's. Track "Love Kills" starts with the lines: "Into the black of your eyes, you cut your heart out of mine and spill my blood on your shrine. Love Kills, every time…”. The terrifying burden of losing the one closest to us as well as the fear of losing oneself prevails in the song; it is a harsh and excruciating testimony of the power of sorrow. 

Who wants to feel pain? Apparently no one, but as some people have sought redemption through pain, in this case, the song "Love Kills" stands out sharp as a knife, ready to rip your heart out and break you down. With the help of his fellow musicians and the advantage of a sincere need to express himself, the artist makes a record full of passion, worth tearing you apart.

The album's theme is love and submission and Coyle handles it in the most moving and heartwarming of ways, communication-wise. For instance, in one of the best songs of the album "I might as well die with you", you get goosebumps just by hearing him sing: "falling in love at the end of the world, just take me now, what's the use? I might as well die with you".

Whether you're looking for the next big thing in folk music or you just like to explore the meaning of mourning, "Love Kills" is the perfect way to reach your destination. Girelli, although living in New York - a city constantly on the move - chooses to dive deep in the depths of the human soul, curl up and narrate in its full splendour, the pain that love can cause. Big congrats for a work well crafted, overflowing with emotion!

Below, you can read our conversation with Coyle Girelli while you listen to his exceptional debut.



The Basement: Hello Coyle! Thank you for this interview about your career and your debut album. "Love Kills" is a really amazing LP. Please, introduce yourself to us.
Thank you very much! I am Coyle Girelli. “Love Kills" is my debut solo album and a piece of work that I’ve spent the last few years putting together. It’s the most honest and personal music i’ve ever made.

The Basement: You were born in Ascot, England and grew up in Otley, West Yorkshire. Did you had a childhood full of music of you were just an ordinary kid and music came later on?
I was an ordinary kid playing lots of football and running around the countryside though I always had music in my head and always wrote a lot of stories and poems. Everything had a soundtrack that I would hum or just hear. It wasn’t until I was 11 or 12 that I realized that not everyone else hears music in their heads. As I discovered music and fell in love with songs and artists my ability to write and the music I was already creating naturally become original songs and by the age of 12, I had taught myself guitar and was constantly writing songs.

The Basement: When did you start getting into music and what were your music studies? 
There was always music in my house growing up. My dad played lots of American artists like Springsteen, Dylan, Jackson Brown and Tom Petty. My mum and grandma played a lot of Opera. I loved Queen, I loved 60s music, and then not long after discovered Nirvana. I was obsessed with Nirvana and learnt pretty much every song. I feel that in the middle of all these influences is where my sound was born. 

The Basement: I was reading your biography and I can surely tell that is not an ordinary one. What's the story that brought us to this album? I know you passed through other bands before this solo project.
I played with The Chevin/Your Vegas since we were kids. We signed to Sony, then Universal Republic, then So Recordings in the UK, touring the world and releasing music. We toured with bands such as Duran Duran, The Bravery, Pigeon Detectives, White Lies, Franz Ferdinand, Psychedelic Furs and Airborne Toxic Event and played shows with The Killers, Kaiser Chiefs, Radiohead and a many others. 
After we finished our last album it felt right for me to start releasing music as a solo artist. So that’s what I did. I still see the guys from the band every week. We all live in New York.

When did you realized that you need to make an album like this and how you stared composing and recording? The label is yours, right?
The origin story of this album begins with multiple songwriting sessions with music legend Mac Davis, writer of iconic hits such as “In The Ghetto” and “A Little Less Conversation” for Elvis Presley. It was a pivotal moment for me - everything seemed to make more sense to me and I let my voice lead the way.

Mac was introduced to my music after watching The Chevin’s performance on “Late Show with David Letterman,” which marked the band’s American network television debut. That music segment was capped off with Letterman commenting on-air after the performance, “If I had a voice like that I would run for President”.

I’ve loved Americana even before I knew what is was. As a kid I grew up listening to my Dad playing Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison Tom Waits or Springsteen records in one room and my Mum playing Puccini or Verdi operas in the other. Somewhere in the middle is where my music lives. Somewhere in there is the reason working with Mac on this style of song had such a deep and profound effect on me. And somewhere in that melting pot of inspiration is the sound I created on the album ‘Love Kills.

The Basement: The orchestration is epic, did you do all the production alone? What was the process did you follow?
After some experimentation with sounds and structures on my own I had a very clear vision of the sound I wanted to create for this album. I set about creating this with my friend Andrew Horowitz with whom I produced most of the album. Blake Stranathan (Lana Del Rey) and Andy Hollander also co-produced some of the songs with me. I played a lot the parts and instruments myself but also had some incredible New York based musicians come in and do their thing. The album was a real team effort and I am grateful and fortunate to be surrounded by so many incredibly talented people!! I tried to keep it as performance based on feelings as possible and recorded in several different New York studios to capture those performances. 

The Basement: Anyone can spot style similarities with bands like Walkabouts, Sivert Høyem, DeVotchKa and so many other in the genre of folk and Americana sound. What is your style? Are you satisfied with the final output?
Yes! I love it. It’s my favourite album I’ve ever made. I pulled influences from all over the place. Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, Ennio Morricone, David Bowie. And my love of opera is definitely heard in the melodies which at times are very Puccini influenced. 

The Basement: What about your theatre and television career? Will you continue doing things there too?
Yes, I am working on a new album and at the same time working on new 2 musicals. Musical theater is a newer love for me but allows me to write and think in a very different way to writing an album like “Love Kills".

The Basement: How's life in New York? Why did you leave England?
I love New York. I left when we signed a record deal with Universal Republic here and have lived here for the most part ever since. It’s crazy, and inspiring and doesn’t let you stop. I love it. But I miss going to see my beloved Manchester City, my family and English food!

The Basement: Who is Isabella?
She is a mixture of a couple of people.

The Basement: Pick one contemporary artist you admire most nowadays.
There are many great artists around now. Right now i’m listening to a lot of First Aid Kit. They make great tunes and sound.

The Basement: And here's a question that I always ask artists, why do you write music?
I always have. I get very sad and anxious when I don’t write music. I feel like I don’t have a choice. It demands to be written. 

The Basement: What are your plans for the near future? 
In the immediate future the plan is to promote and bring “Love Kills” to people. I’ll be starting to make videos for it at the top of the year and looking for touring and festival opportunities. 

The Basement: Say anything you might want to tell your Greek audience. :)
Thank you! Enjoy “Love Kills”! Play it to your friends and family, call the radio stations and help me spread the word so I can come and play it for you in person in your beautiful country !! 

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