Leila Gharib has a pretty firm understanding of what she’s trying to do, to put it lightly. The Verona, Italy, musician and visual artist is actively involved in both scenes in her hometown (having once been a member of both the excellently named band Bikini the Cat and performance art group Barokthegreat), and in addition to creating a zine to accompany her first demo under the name Sequoyah Tiger, she also directs all of her own videos.
That would include the one for “Hey Paul Anka,” which we’re proud to premiere today. The song, whose slightly narcotic guitar lines and chiseled vocal melody sound something like Panda Bear scoring the Twin Peaks prom, appears on her debut Ta-Ta-Ta-Ta Time EP. Those guitars Doppler as they try to keep up with Gharib’s voice, creating what she calls a “Bolero effect” (after the repetitious Spanish dance) as their repeated warm echoes eventually wrap around the vocal from both sides in a honeycomb of reverb.
The video draws from the same principle—watch as the VHS filter shifts subtly to accommodate her movement—but Gharib’s slight smile and tentative eye contact make you wonder whether “Hey Paul Anka” is a legitimate piece of downbeat doo wop or a gentle parody of the same, or if the difference even matters. Whether it’s a lark or not, it’s a compelling and expertly crafted pop song. You can check it out below.
Ta-Ta-Ta-Ta Time is out April 1 on Morr Music.