Scribbling the motions of love and loss with a sentimental poise, Brooklyn-based artist, Gabrielle Marlena extracts a deeper residue of life with a pensive yet assuring lyrical structure. Noted during the Fall of 2017 of Marlena’s 13,000 mile venture, playing 25 shows in 21 different states, the collection of lyrics that derived from Marlena’s travels are heard on her latest EP, Easier Love, in a refreshing dosage of honesty. Each track echoes a timeless story, at times rough around the edges, but none embodies an array of values as the EP’s closing track, “Mississippi.”
Tom Gorelik’s direction for “Mississippi” is a lingering ideal that expands throughout the duration of Marlena’s penned heartache. One-shot, via drone, captures Marlena’s cathartic crooning on a Brooklyn rooftop, taking pages from her personal entries, allowing an intimate closure within framing. As the camera pans and circles around Marlena, New York City is shown draped in a golden sunset with all the trimmings.
Despite the retrospective and vivid lyrics — “And I’m on the Mississippi / I’m in a different city / Don’t you think I look pretty / Sitting by myself” — Gorelik’s continuous long shot takes Marlena’s somber, contemplation to a positive resolution, guided by the bigger picture of life, and beauty, that is shown each day resetting at sunset. The track holds Marlena’s cracking vocals that seep between each strum, to only be caressed by an electric guitar, assuring there is no way around the weight of Marlena’s compelling story telling.
With a successful tour under her belt, Marlena not only shares her mindset on “Mississippi” but also her five most memorable moments from the tour.
Gabrielle Marlena’s Five Most Memorable Tour Moments
1) Finding out on day four that my travel partner was leaving, and I was on my own in Chicago.. then driving eight hours in a thunderstorm through Iowa the next day and REALLY realizing I was on my own
2) Fast forward a few days to totalling my car at 8 am in a quiet residential neighborhood in Boise, ID on my way to get a cup of coffee. Then driving eight hours the same day in a rental car to STILL make my 9 pm show in Seattle. My eyes were so dry from crying I could barely keep them open, and naturally it was pouring rain driving into Seattle that night. Shoutout to my first ever McDonalds frozen coffee thing that got me through the day!
3) The tinder date I went on in Houston, TX with an ex-Pentecostal Christian turned liberal hipster (Yes, Pentecostal is the kind where you speak in tongues, which blew the mind of this New York Jew).
4) And of course, walking along the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge, which seemed like a ghost town on a Sunday afternoon, reflecting and getting all emotional about the natural beauties of this country.
5) First seeing the cacti-covered mountains in Arizona and realizing the cactus is my spirit animal, always standing strong and tall and awkward.