Los Angeles artist/musician Gretchen Lieberum (co-founder of Prince tribute band Princess with actress Maya Rudolph) releases a new video and track for the classic song “Don’t Explain” from her upcoming album of beautifully reimagined and modernized jazz and pop standards, This May Only Be A Dream, out May 7.
For her version of the Billie Holliday and Arthur Herzog penned torch song, Lieberum enlisted BAFTA award winning composer Keefus Ciancia to craft the track, incorporating driving drum loops with bursts of explosive big-band horns around Lieberum’s sultry and lush lead vocal, reminiscent of Julie London and Peggy Lee, with a delivery that is both intimate and powerful.
“I’ve loved the song Don’t Explain since I was teenager exploring my Dad’s vast vinyl collection,” Lieberum states. “Of course, it was Billie Holiday’s version that first mesmerized and haunted me, particularly the exquisite emotional expression of the anger and sadness of betrayal in the song.”
To create the video, Lieberum reached out to her friend, choreographer James Alsop (she/her), who has worked with Beyonce and Jennifer Lopez and whose work will next be seen in the final season of Ryan Murphy’s POSE and the HBOMAX reboot of GOSSIP GIRL. Lieberum had envisioned Alsop not only choreographing but starring in the video as well. “James is not only a dear friend but I’m also a huge admirer of her tremendous talent as a dancer and choreographer, and was thrilled when she agreed to collaborate with me on the video. Her overwhelming fierceness, charisma, power and beauty truly shine in her performance, bringing the story of the song to life.”
The resulting video, directed by filmmaker Jacob Estes (who is also Lieberum’s husband), shot by Sharone Meir (Whiplash) and costume designed by Nadine Haders (Get Out) is both a gorgeous black and white throwback to classic dance numbers of the past and a throughly modern expression of exuberance and joy.
Lieberum’s upcoming May 7th album “This May Only Be A Dream” explores a collection of timeless jazz and pop songs with an entirely fresh, modern, and experimental approach, with a foundation of moody atmospheres and lush cinematics created by Ciancia. Lieberum and Ciancia recorded the album amidst both of their demandinschedules. Ciancia was busy scoring the AMC hit Killing Eve as well as True Detective with T-Bone Burnett. Lieberum was playing sold-out shows with Princess, including a slot at the 2019 Bonnaroo Festival and gaining fame with their memorable appearances on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. They worked on the project virtually until finally meeting up to finish it in Los Angeles at the historic Electro Vox Studios, where they brought in a variety of seasoned and like-minded session musicians such as Jay Bellerose, David Ralicke, Gabe Noel, Woody Jackson, Peter Smith, Gabe Witcher, and Wendy Melvoin of Prince’s band, The Revolution.