Singer, songwriter, musician, and poet HOLLAND GRECO's debut album, VOLUME 1, due out February 2014 on Zappa Records, will mark the first original artist signed this century to the label headed by Gail Zappa. The multi-faceted GRECO--keyboards, rhythm guitar, banjo, accordion AND ukulele--lives up to the honor with an eclectic musical palette that is in full effect on the album which showcases her double vision in the two halves of VOLUME 1: the light and dark sides of her personality, expressed in the high-pitched sing-song falsetto of Tunnel Vision and the deeper, smoke-filled vocals in the gothabilly of Murdergram: Songs Of The Misfits.
"I wanted to showcase the duality, the diversity of my interests," HOLLAND explains of the unusual package. "It feels like an open way to make my official musical debut to the world. I like the idea that the next record could go anywhere--maybe combining a set of dance tunes with country songs. I like the freedom to follow that muse wherever it takes me. I think there's enough truth and authenticity that it will make sense."
"Holland had a desk job here," says Gail Zappa, "and gradually her other working wardrobe started showing up on hangers over the office door and then there was the singing behind the door. Attendance at a few gigs here and there and Diva's photo coverage--that plus HOLLAND'sintense interest in publishing and artist's rights--all coalesced into an opportunity for me to assist someone who I knew could carry off the business side of her career. We're a tiny label, but I want to see what we can do with obvious talent, a unique vision, Big Dreams, and a ukulele."
On VOLUME 1, GRECO recorded Tunnel Vision with keyboardist Lisa Harriton [Ke$ha,Smashing Pumpkins, Adam Lambert], bassist Joe Karnes [Fitz & the Tantrums], frequent drummer princessFrank and a horn section including ace musicians like trombone player Ryan Porter and trumpeter Brian Warfield. The results feature HOLLAND in her Norah Jones/Maria Muldaur/Cyndi Lauper mode, a seductive crooner capable of the buoyant samba beat of "100 Proof" and the horn-driven New Orleans by way of Mary Wells stomp of "Stuck!"
Meanwhile, Murdergram, her tribute to Glenn Danzig's horror-core punkabilly band The Misfits, was inspired by the exploitation flicks of Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez and the fuzz-toned guitar sounds of Link Wray. You can hear those cinematic influences in the wide-screen"American Nightmare," with a bowed bass solo that sounds like "a crying Orca, a wail of pain and anguish," with HOLLAND's declamatory style recalling yet another rock poet in Patti Smith. There's a bossa nova beat in "Die Die My Darling" courtesy of princessFrank, while "Vampira"is straight-ahead monsterbilly in the classic crash-and-burn style of The Cramps.
"I feel I have something to offer whoever's listening," says GRECO. "I am constantly digging into my own feelings and experiences to find those truths which connect us, the words to distill matters of the heart, mind, and body into knowable, articulated, musical mood scenes.be it love, sadness, or spaz."
The track listing for VOLUME 1 is as follows:
Tunnel Vision (Side A)
1. 100 Proof
2. Bedford Stuyvesant
Murdergram: Songs of the Misfits (Side B)
1. Hollywood Babylon
3. American Nightmare
4. Die Die My Darling