“…dreamy…sophisticated…stunning…intriguing…” --Kevin Wierzbicki, AntiMusic
Element 115 (Uup)
"I don't often get to produce artists whose vision is so crystalline, so utterly void of pretense. Gretta's art is difficult to describe because it so succinctly defies description…each of these little paintings, hung together in a row and viewed unobstructed, constitute a bright and cloudless world unto itself, oddly alien yet familiar in a way that invites the viewer to bathe in its warmth til sunset, and then come back the following dawn for more. This record has found a home in my head and refuses to move out. And that's just fine by me." --KRAMER
In 2015, Gretta Harley released her first solo album, Element 115 (Uup), a lush, ethereal, cinematic song cycle created in partnership with legendary musician and producer KRAMER.
Gretta has created a deeply moving song cycle…an emotional journey through a period of romantic joy and heart-breaking duress. From the song ‘Kaleidoscope Eyes’ to ‘Falling Up,’ the collection of 14 songs carries the listener through an intense series of highs and lows that open windows to the soul of anyone who has ever fallen in love.” --Gene Stout
The title of the release, Element 115 (Uup), is taken from superheavy element Ununpentium (Uup), recently added to the Periodic Table. Like all SHEs, Element 115 is so short lived on the “island of stability” that it’s difficult to understand, or even comprehend what its use is. In Harley's hands it becomes an analogy to a romantic relationship: an immediate, intense and positive electrical connection, attraction and depth, yet so short lived it doesn’t get a chance to be fully realized or understood before it is obliterated.
This album takes the form of a song cycle, in which a group of songs, unified by subject as well as musical themes, are intended to be played in sequence as a single entity (think Arcade Fire's The Suburbs or Green Day's American Idiot, as examples). Harley's music evokes the raw emotionality and lyricism of Nick Drake, The Smiths and Kate Bush, with the brainy, performance art sensibility of Laurie Anderson and Meredith Monk. The theme traverses the wild and treacherous landscape of a breakup, from abandonment, fear, ego, and blame to acceptance and forgiveness. Harley wrestles with various demons along the way, making an uneasy peace with them while we look on, recognize ourselves, have an occasional laugh, and celebrate our shared darkness.
Element 115 (Uup) is produced by legendary producer Kramer (Butthole Surfers, Urge Overkill, Low, Bongwater, Galaxie 500, John Zorn, etc.). It was recorded in a small, empty house on the outskirts of St. Augustine, Florida—the oldest city in the U.S.. There, Kramer and Harley holed up for two weeks working around the clock and playing all of the instruments.
Watch the June 6, 2015 vinyl record release performance at The Royal Room, Seattle.
Press Contact: Lila Hurwitz, Doolittle+Bird, email@example.com, 206.650.3305