Pollyanna is the recently released debut album from Gabby & The Gondolas, the brainchild of Kyle Neveau. Hailing from San Clemente, California, he blends art rock, surf rock, grunge, and americana into a cohesive record which spans ten tracks. The album name is a term used to describe someone who’s overly optimistic when they have no reason to be. Considering many of the songs on the album, even the upbeat ones, have a melancholy element to them, Neveau found it a fittingly ironic name.
For me, it’s a snapshot in time artistically. I’m constantly writing new songs and my sound is evolving, so it was important to get it down while it was relevant. A year or two goes by and the person who wrote those songs doesn’t really exist anymore.If I wait, I’ll lose it.”Kyle Neveau
We chatted with Kyle about the debut record and how he came up with the name for the project.
Hi Kyle! How’s everything going right now?
Everything’s going well, we’re prepping for some upcoming live shows and I’ve been working on some new songs. Busy, but good.
What classic album cover is your current mood?
Obscured by Clouds. I’ve been listening to those early Pink Floyd records a lot lately and it’s getting close to fall, so I’m feeling that cover right now.
Your debut album “Pollyanna” was recently released. When and where did you write and record it?
I wrote all the songs for Pollyanna throughout 2022, and we recorded here in Nashville at Studio Punch Up and Brad Lindsay’s place. We started in November 2022 and wrapped in March 2023.
What is one thing you’ve learnt from making the album that you’ll take with you as you move forward?
I’ve learned a lot working with Brad Lindsay (producer) and Andy Freeman (mixing engineer), this album wouldn’t have been possible without them. I guess more than anything I’ve learned to surround yourself with good people and be flexible so they can help you.
If you could only listen to one record, what would it be?
Pet Sounds. I love every song on that album and I always come back to it.
Where did the “Gabby & The Gondolas” name come from as this feels very much like a solo venture rather than a band (as is implied)?
Yeah, I had started writing for the album and I didn’t really want to go by my name. I kind of feel like every type of band name has been done at this point and I kind of wanted to poke fun at that. Gabby & The Gondolas popped into my head one night and I liked the way it sounded so I went with it. It doesn’t mean anything. G&TG started as a solo project but I’ve always envisioned it as a band, at least for live performances. Fortunately, it feels like we’re starting to come together as a band and that’s fun.
You’re originally from San Clemente, CA but are now based in Nashville, TN. Did living in those places help blend the mix of styles (surf rock, Americana) that are on the record or have you been influenced in other ways?
I think so, I feel like the beach is always part of what I’m visualizing when I write songs in one way or another. Neil Young is a huge inspiration of mine, and whenever I hear “Out on the Weekend” or “Tell Me Why” I think of the relaxed feeling you get after surfing. Maybe that’s just from my own association with those songs, but it’s definitely real. I love old school country music and Americana, but I have to do it in my own way or it feels like I’m playing a character. I feel like my sound is a blend of both places, for sure.
What would go on your signature pizza and what would it be called?
I don’t eat dairy so I usually go with no cheese, add onions, black olives, and mushrooms. I guess you could just call it a vegan pizza. Most people are disturbed by the thought of eating pizza without cheese, but I love it. Don’t knock it til you try it.
What do you have planned for the rest of 2023 and beyond?
We have several gigs coming up we’ll be ready to announce soon, check back on all the social platforms for details. I’m really excited to play these songs live now that the album is out, we’re going to be playing out a lot in 2024. I’ve also been writing songs for the next album which I’d really like to release in 2024, but we’ll see. I’m definitely staying busy, but it’s a lot of fun. Just really excited to keep moving things forward and making music.
Feature Photo Credit – Danielle Shields