Breaking Through | 10 Questions with A.O. Gerber
For fans of: Julia Jacklin, Angel Olsen, Skullcrusher
Another Place To Need, the debut album from A.O. Gerber has been quite a few years in the waiting. Though immersed within Los Angeles' contemporary indie scene for a good while now – having played for acts such as Runnner, Ian Sweet and Derek Ted and sharing bills with the likes of Saintseneca and Rosie Tucker – the multi-instrumentalist finally released a collection of exquisite songs written over the past five years, produced alongside friend and collaborator Madeline Kenney.
At one moment spotlighting Gerber's haunting and candid vocal lines, the next falling satisfyingly into a full-band embrace, Another Place proved that it was worth the wait, and quickly pushed her to the attention of many.
With a new live session of 'Tell Me' released today (see below), filmed back in February by Seannie Bryan, we hit the LA artist with some quick-fire questions to help get to know her a little better.
If a friend of a friend asks what your music sounds like, how do you describe it?
I usually say “dreamo,” which is a term a friend once used to refer to my music and I think is kind of perfect.
What track do you think is the best starting point for getting into A.O. Gerber?
It depends who you are and your taste, I guess! I’d start with 'Old Blue'.
'Strangers' was supposedly written whilst doing the laundry. Do you have an ideal setting to write?
I do a lot of lyric writing while walking outside, actually.
How have you been keeping sane over lockdown? Do you think you'll take away anything new from the experience?
Lots and lots of walking, day trips out of the city and reading. I think we’ll all be processing this time for years to come and I know there’s much I’ll take with me, but I hope that slowing down is one of those things.
What made you leave your hometown for Los Angeles?
I left my hometown a long time before coming to Los Angeles. I’ve never stayed too long in one place. Before moving here, I was living in Vermont. I missed the west coast and was ready to be challenged by somewhere new.
Do you think LA has had much of an impact on your writing?
For sure. Both the place itself and the artists whose work I’ve been introduced to since moving here.
What have some of the biggest lessons you've learnt as a musician?
There are no rules, and it’s supposed to be fun.
What do you feel has been your biggest achievement so far?
Finding a band/music community that I love making music with.
How did signing with a London-based label Hand in Hive come about?
They found my song 'Strangers' through the wonders of the World Wide Web and reached out. I loved them immediately.
What are you excited about for the near future?
I’m going on a solo backpacking trip this weekend and I’m very excited.
Another Place To Need is out now on Hand in Hive. A limited edition release on recycled vinyl will be available from Friday 3rd July.