Delaney Gibson is an artist that I’m really annoyed I hadn’t heard until a week and a half ago… Already on her third album, her latest LP, Tall Like the Tree, was released earlier this year. I’ve described my favorite track, “Kiss,” as reminiscent of, “Kate Nash on a twee rampage.” The rest of the album fluctuates between charmingly juvenile and quirky indie pop (“Give up the Ghost,” “When We Were Young,” “Stars”) and whimsically wide-eyed dreamlike balladry (“Your Heart is My Home” and “I Deserve Love”) – she describes her sound as “Confessional-Theatrical-Pop.” In addition to her own releases, the vocalist, pianist, guitarist, and ukuleleist (Is that a thing?) has not been a stranger to popular culture. She’s appeared as a performer on Boston Public, Jimmy Kimmel Live, and The Emmy’s, and even sang backup vocals for the likes of Barbara Streisand and Barry Manilow (She’s studied classical voice since her single digits, with a Bachelor of Music from California State University, Northridge.) I recently got a chance to chat with the exceptionally lovely and charming Delaney Gibson about her career and she tells me that Tall Like the Tree is definitely a high point of her time as a professional musician.
“I’m really proud of my latest album. I finally got to do what I wanted and that was a long time coming. This is the first time I feel like I got the sound that I wanted. I mean, I have a musical theatre background and before a producer was always trying to get me away from that musical theatre sound, so with the first two albums, they’re more singer/songwriter, but I wanted something more danceable.”
Tall Like the Tree was conceived of during a year that Delaney spent living in the Bronx, which produced a nearly-insane abundance of pop compositions: “I wrote about 72 songs for the record. I spent a year in New York writing and that’s all I did for that year.”
I ask Delaney about the music that inspires her and if there’s anything especially inspiring that has come out this year and she laughs and admits, “I’m bad about keeping up with music as it happens. Like, I’ll get really into an album and then someone will be like, ‘That came out 10 years ago.’” However, she does admit to having one particularly intense sonic crush currently dominating the world of pop music: “I have a guilty pleasure: Lana Del Rey. And I tell everyone that I hate her, but I really love her… Although I don’t know if I actually like her, or I just like the way her records are produced.”
And when I finally ask her if there is anyone that she would dream of collaborating with, in addition to the mega-marquee names she already has under her belt, Delaney tells me, “As a songwriter, I would die to work with Rufus Wainwright, and the 14-year-old in me really wants to sing with Gerard Way, and my favorite band is Manchester Orchestra and that’s someone I would really love to sing with.”