Green Energy

In Sarah Greenwell’s latest, one single gets a double take


In a double-single, double-video release, Sarah Greenwell of the slimetime-booger-tech-deck punk band GYMSHORTS and stripped-down solo act Greeensleeves has released a real-time revisionist study of her track “Love You Funny.” Side A is the GYMSHORTS version, clocking in at 2:55; side B is Greeensleeves: 3:50. The songwriter/musician delivers the same words and subject in ways that reveal different shades of the same song.

“The Greeensleeves version makes the lyrics feel a little sadder or more introspective,” Greenwell begins. “The GYMSHORTS version comes off a little more resentful and has a little more attitude, conceptually speaking.”

Greenwell shares that she wrote “Love You Funny” at the very start of the pandemic. “I had the structure and lyrics and everything and then when we went to record it, I had Casey Belisle on the drums and KC Goodwin playing some guitar, and Chaimes Parker – who engineered/recorded and helped produce at Big Nice Studio – playing bass. We sorta just jammed it out a few times and they added their parts with some stuff I was hearing in it so that’s how we kinda just built up the song in the studio.”

The GYMSHORTS version of “Love You Funny” chugs along with an ‘80s-esque palm-muted, driving verse interspersed with a hook-heavy, instrumental chorus break. A Rilo Kiley-esque catchiness just barely covers subtle tongue-in-cheek elements just below the surface. It’s just a love song – but is it really?

“I’ve been collaborating and playing guitar in some other projects in the last few years so I think that’s helped change my songwriting and expand it in a lot of ways,” says Greenwell. “Before any of that I would kind of just go with whatever my first thoughts were but sometimes now I find myself challenging my first instincts, which is fun cause it forces me to think a little bit more about the songs before I tell myself it’s finished.”

The accompanying videos are also filmed by different creatives in different spaces. The GYMSHORTS video is a riff on the world of ‘90s stand-up comedy by the duo Ethan Vera and Dom Boisvert from Corey Street Studios; Sunny Harum and Patch Darragh filmed the Greeensleeves single, which, featuring scenery and open fields, is more introspective.

“I haven’t played too many Greeensleeves shows live yet and eventually I’d love to get a big ‘ol band going for it,” says the Providence-based Greenwell currently on a US tour with GYMSHORTS. “I’ve recently had my friend John Gallagher, Jr. play some shows with me and that’s been so exciting to me because he is an amazing musician and really adds a lot of amazing guitar parts and beautiful harmonies to the live versions of these songs.”

“The cassette for ‘Love You Funny’ came out on Self Luv Records, and the 7” vinyl on Freeman Street Records. That has been just such a dream working with Roz and then Chuck and Kristen,” says Greenwell, noting the names behind the labels. “They have all been so supportive and given me a lot of freedom in the whole release process.” GYMSHORTS.bandcamp



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