Gosta Berling

Gosta Berling

 San Francisco, California, USA
BandRockAlternative

Gosta Berling, from Oakland and San Francisco, makes music that is an amalgam of British post-punk and shoegaze and American indie and features a narrative lyrical style - call it melodramtic indie pop.

Biography

When founding members Damon Anderson (vocals and guitar), Dave Goudreau aka DG (guitar), and Dave Carter aka Carter (drums) began playing with one another, their musical roles weren't so well defined. At the outset, the things were fluid, the song-writing process slow and at times trying, and the sound that they would eventually cultivate with their current line-up -- with Greg Dubrow on bass and backing vocals and Andre Julien replacing Carter on drums -- had not yet seen the light of day. Gosta Berling didn't emerge from a scene - either despite of because of this, the band creates music with a universal resonance.

The debut EP, Everybody's Sweetheart, is a collection of songs mostly inspired by Hollywood and the star machine from the turn of the 20th century onward. Ziegfeld Girl is a narrative of silent film star Olive Thomas and her drug overdose (was it a suicide?). Garden of Allah is a delicate waltz and a celebration of Alla Nazimova and the Hollywood scene of the 1920s. Nazimova, actress, producer, socialite, closet lesbian, became best known for throwing lavish parties at her home on Sunset Boulevard dubbed the Garden of Alla. Rebecca is a driving rocker with swirling guitars and tells the story of the ghost of Rebecca de Winter from the 1940 Alfred Hitchcock film of the same name as the song. So Lonely, the one song on the EP not about Hollywood or nightclub stars, is a story about breakup and shame played over a pulsing drumbeat and bubbling bassline. Berlin closes the EP, and features DG's trademark repeating arpeggios accompanying a story about early film star Louise Brooks, her lack of acceptance in the states, and her burgeoning stardom in Germany. Everybody's Sweetheart was recorded at John Vanderslice's Tiny Telephone in San Francisco over four days in the summer of 2007. Tim Mooney, former drummer of American Music Club, engineered the sessions.

The 2nd EP, Travel, continues the band's exploration of British post-punk and American indie sounds featured on the debut release, Everybody's Sweetheart. The stories on Travel are inspired by old films, newer films, Billie Holiday and sleepy emotional states. "Across the Lake" begins the record with a melodic driving mid-temp first-person tale from the point-of-view of Danny, one of the teen lovers in the 1991 Australian film, Flirting. Song #2, "Your Gables Green", uses driving post-punk guitars and Joy Division-like bass line to tell of the love found and love lost between Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks. Billie Holiday is the subject of "On Holiday", told from the point of view of one of her many acolytes and followers over a musical bed of arpeggiated guitars. The epic "Last Flight" is based on the 1931 film of the same name, a story of wounded WWI vets who console each other in a Paris bar. The sparse, sensitive and melancholy "Bed" closes the EP.

Discography

Everybody's Sweetheart (EP) 2007
Travel (EP) 2010 - "Across the Lake" received play on SOMA-FM's Indie Pop Rocks station.