BlackBook Premiere: Gayle Records Visceral Acoustic Version of ‘abcdefu’
The title says it all: ‘abcdefu’. And if we’re being honest, we’re actually kind of embarrassed that we didn’t think of it first. But distinctly recalling the self-possessed, laser beam vitriol of Lilly Allen’s unflinching 2009 kiss off ‘Fuck You’, the new single by the just-17-years-old-and-genuinely-burgeoning-star Gayle lays is all pretty starkly bare, aimed at some poor bloke who had the nerve to treat her with an obviously misguided disregard.
“Fuck you and your mom and your sister and your job
And your broke-ass car and that shit you call art
Fuck you and your friends that I’ll never see again
Everybody but your dog, you can all fuck off”
Of course, we appreciate that the young Nashville songstress (newly signed to Atlantic Records) at least spared the pup her wrath, as surely our furry friends could not possibly bear any of the blame for our own human romantic follies. But one has to otherwise appreciate the pointed, all-out takedown – some pretty bold, confident statements for a girl who hasn’t yet even reached legal drinking age. But then, at just 15 she was already causing a considerable buzz with the equally visceral track ‘dumbass’.
It’s a pretty good guess her voice has something to do with all the attention (‘abcdefu’ has been streamed more than fourteen million times). Indeed, her vocal performances possess the widescreen quality of a Christina Aguilera – whom she also sounds a bit like – but with a raw, fiery intensity that practically dares anyone to do wrong by her.
“I wrote it at a time when I was writing extremely self-deprecating songs,” she recalls. “I went through a breakup and I put my ex on a pedestal; I really thought I was like the worst person ever. I kept talking about how I messed everything up and refused to admit that maybe he had a part to play in my break up with him. He then showed me through his actions that he wasn’t as great as I thought he was.”
Gayle‘s earnest intensity is only further intensified on a stark new bedroom-recorded acoustic version of the song, which BlackBook enthusiastically premieres here. At about 2:17 into it, it’s hard not to feel a shiver up the spine, as she reaches full-on emotional catharsis.
“I wanted to put out this acoustic version of ‘abcdefu’ to show where it has lived for so long,” she explains. “I haven’t been able to play live shows, so there’s been so many times I’ve imagined myself playing with a band on a stage with people who showed up to hear live music. Now what I’ve been imagining for months is actually happening, and I will be leaving for a tour in a little over a month! This video is to honor the girl who played in her bedroom for a year-and-a-half.”
Certainly, it was well worth the wait.
(N.B. Gayle will be on tour with Winnetka Bowling League from early November to early December.)