top photo by Cyn Lowery @ Cynister Photography
Los Angeles, CA: At first listen, singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Robbie Gennet’s music sounds so original and different from the norm that it’s almost jarring. After all, most new music is “borrowed” from artists that inspire the songwriter, and is easily classified in a specific musical genre.
Not so in Gennet’s case. Perhaps “multi-dimensional, progressive, piano-driven pop/rock” best describes it. Or, to compare his sound to well-known artists, think Father John Misty, Arcade Fire, Rush and the Killers, with Elton John-esque piano and even a string section throughout.
Robbie Gennet is proud to announce his upcoming 7-song album of all original songs, Gleams, set for a May 24 release. Having previously been a sideman on keyboards, vocals, guitar and bass for other artists, including Fuel, Lisa Marie Presley, Nick Lachey, Everclear and many others, he’s excited to release Gleams, his own latest original musical creation.
Prior to the release of Gleams, the first video from the album is “The Camera’s On” which comes out on April 27. “The Camera’s On” is a frenetic, multi-layered piece of music that reflects the constant state of surveillance we all live in now, while also connecting with the recent anti-patriarchy #metoo movement. “There are cameras in most public spaces, and we are increasingly captured on video,” he explains. “There’s the concept of Big Brother watching us, which I wanted to touch on by showing that through our collective cameras, we are the Bigger Brother watching back. As the lyrics state: ‘Watch what you watch-they see what you see. Don’t leave a trace if you want to be faceless in the crowd when you’re not allowed anonymity.’”
“I was also compelled to tie-in an anti-patriarchy theme in this video,” he continues. “I feel very strongly about women rising up and gaining an equal seat at the table, which requires the patriarchy to unwillingly lose its long-held privilege. As the video started forming in my mind, I saw my initial ‘Reservoir Dogs-meets-Eyes Wide Shut’ plotline through the eyes of a female main character. I knew this video was meant to be built upon the theme of a woman turning the tables on a man and in the end, assuming total power over him.”
In addition to writing all the songs, Gennet plays most of the instruments on the album. “I’ve always played piano on my previous recordings, but playing bass this time has given me the freedom to map out more adventuresome parts. I also played drums on the demos to give Ryan Brown (Dweezil Zappa) a fairly explicit roadmap. Of course, he added his own dazzling touches!” Gennet also specializes in vintage keyboards (Rhodes, Clavinet, Wurlitzer, Minimoog) and has experience playing Hammond organ. He is also a longtime music journalist and video host with Keyboard magazine, teaches music (at Musicians Institute and privately), and is the author of The Key of One (Alfred) book/DVD, his own notation-free approach to learning music as a language.
Growing up, Gennet idolized Elton John and Billy Joel. “Elton and Billy Joel were the pinnacles of piano playing singer/songwriters to me. Having no classical training and minimal exposure to classical or jazz music, I was more interested in rock and blues piano, so I gravitated in that direction. Also, one of my seminal influences when I was a kid was the soundtrack to the movie Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band starring the Bee Gees and Peter Frampton. It was my introduction to the songwriting of the Beatles, as we didn't have any of their records in the house at the time.””
“This new music and sound is one of the most exciting things I have done musically,” he concludes. “By adding live strings and stacked vocals to my piano trio arrangements, I branched away from the guitar-frosted music of my past into more cultured and rich arrangements. Coupled with more complex chord progressions, lyrics and melodies, these songs have broken new ground in my catalogue. It’s much harder for me to find references to tag this music with because of its individuality, which to me is something of a victory artistically. I don’t want to align my music with what’s on the radio or is currently enjoying its15 minutes of coolness. I am focused on timelessness, and being true to my vision.“
Stay tuned for more news…additional new musical releases are planned, as well as live show dates in select cities…