Southern California’s GUNNAR has shared his newest single & video “Fuck a Broken Heart,” alongside the announcement of his debut album Best Mistake, out on February 24th and produced by Brendan O’Brien (The Killers, Bruce Springsteen, Rage Against The Machine). The punchy anthem is a taste of what to expect from GUNNAR’s debut — a healthy dose of rock, alt and Americana ruminating on love, lust, and loss.
The new track delivers just that and arrives with a cheeky video accompaniment that sees GUNNAR undergo open-heart surgery and leads to an unexpected performance.
“’Fuck a Broken Heart’ is a song about the goal keeper no longer being at the goal post,” explains GUNNAR. “It’s about finally syncing up with the person that you have been waiting for. There was a person that I had known for a long time – we just had chemistry with each other from the jump, but the timing never worked out. When she finally got out of the wrong relationship she had been in, I didn’t want her to be sad or heartbroken at all – because it was finally time for her and I to have what we had been yearning for. Fuck A Broken Heart.”
Produced by O’Brien at the legendary Henson Recording Studios, Best Mistake encompasses a guitar-heavy sound echoing the eclectic mix of influences that form GUNNAR’s musical DNA (’90s alt-rock, mid-aughts garage rock, heartland singer/songwriters and classic country). “I wrote all these songs thinking about the live show and how to bring in those big musical moments and energy that make every night unforgettable,” he notes. The album is loaded with combustible guitar solos, sing-along-ready choruses, and infinitely unpredictable rhythms—an element shaped with the help of co-producer Adam Friedman (Mike Posner, Tai Verdes, Capital Cities). “I’m very much inspired by the way that artists like Kendrick Lamar and Nine Inch Nails come up with drum sounds and beats that feel like nothing you’ve ever heard before,” says GUNNAR. “Through working with Adam we were able to take what we’d done live and build another layer onto that, so it ends up sounding like a record from tomorrow.”
With its ripped-from-real-life ruminations on love and lust and loss, Best Mistake matches its forward-thinking sonic palette with GUNNAR’s newly unbridled vocal presence. “In the past I was mostly focused on getting a clean pop vocal, but now it’s about being as expressive and authentically myself as possible,” he says. “Sometimes I’m yelling, sometimes it’s quiet, sometimes my voice will crack. I’m singing with way more feeling than I ever did before, because the songs mean so much more to me.” On the album’s hypnotic lead single “Cinnamon,” GUNNAR’s vocals take on a soulful intensity made even more magnetic by his feverish guitar riffs. “It’s a song about losing control over somebody who’s just toying with you—but you can’t stop, because you’re addicted,” he says. On “They Didn’t Tell Me,” gritty guitar tones form the backdrop to GUNNAR’s witty storytelling. “I wrote that after getting back from tour last year,” he reveals. “It’s about the experience of going to a city where a friend of mine lives and saying to them, ‘You told me all about this place, but you never told me about this one special person out in the crowd.’ It’s that moment of immediately connecting with someone and being gripped by their presence” Meanwhile, on “The Chase,” Best Mistake bursts into an impossibly energetic mood fueled by the track’s dizzying rhythms and dexterous guitar work. “That song’s about loving the uncertainty of a relationship where nothing is easy,” says GUNNAR. “I loved the idea of flipping that on its head and making it a feel-good song instead of something angsty and dark.”
Photo Courtesy: Jennifer Girma