Jan 17, 2023
By Caleb Campbell
Photography by Chiara D’Anzieri
Later this year, indie rock singer/songwriter Ron Gallo is set to return with his fourth full-length record, FOREGROUND MUSIC. Following the ambitious reinventions of his 2021 album, PEACEMEAL, Gallo’s latest effort turns his eye outward. FOREGROUND MUSIC delivers a rollicking tour through today’s constant ongoing crises and mounting political anxieties, all knit together with Gallo’s charming genre-fluid style and stubbornly hopeful undercurrent.
Fans heard from him last year with his previous single, “Yucca Valley Marshalls,” and today he’s back with his latest effort, “AT LEAST I’M DANCING,” premiering with Under the Radar.
“AT LEAST I’M DANCING” captures the chaotic balancing act that runs across the whole record, with Gallo constantly veering between apocalyptic nihilism and unabashed joy. The track opens in blistering fashion as a wall of wiry dance punk guitars propels the song forward. The thrashing dance party that dominates much of the track contrasts against floating psych-tinged interludes, with it all culminating in a searing climactic guitar solo to close out the song. Meanwhile, the lyrics play in a similarly conflicted mode, with Gallo confessing, “I just keep dancing between / Everything is fucked and meant to be / But at least I am dancing / At least I’m dancing!”
“What else can you do?” explains Gallo. “I don’t know where things are going, but I think the world is gonna be what we make it and so giving a shit is always a good choice. If that fails at least we will enjoy the last moments we have.”
Gallo says of the accompanying video, “This song would be a good soundtrack to a dance party happening at the end of the world. Like the last song of the night but also the last song ever. Which is kind of how life has felt over the last few years (though I haven’t been to any parties). In my head, it’s a perpetual dance between crushing cynicism fueled by observing the dark parts of humanity and blind optimism fueled by some weird unconditional love for humanity and wanting better for everyone. This song is finding a way to make it all coexist and feel like life feels which turns out is mostly hilarious all things considered when you zoom out.
Self-shot and edited this video by going around my neighborhood and seeking out the most bleak locations (mostly construction sites) and doing this “dance” in front of them. A lot of these locations are actual buildings now. One of them is a fancy ice cream shop. So moral of the story is a desolate warzone could be selling you a $9 artisanal cone someday if we persevere.”
Check out the song and video below. FOREGROUND MUSIC is out March 3rd via Kill Rock Stars.