Jen Goma of A Sunny Day in Glasgow talks solo debut (stream it), playing release show with Greg Saunier & more
Jen Goma, who you may know from A Sunny Day in Glasgow, People Get Ready, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, and Roman à Clef, releases Smiley Face, her solo debut as Showtime Goma, this Friday. You can hear traces of all the groups she’s played with in the album but, really, this is very much Jen’s own thing: multilayered, joyous, R&B-tinged dreampop, all centered around Jen’s impressive pipes and melodic skills. You can listen to the whole thing right now as a stream of the album premieres in this post.
Showtime Goma will celebrate the release of Smiley Face at Brooklyn’s Union Pool on July 9 and has made it quite the event, with performances from Greg Saunier of Deerhoof, Nancy Feast (aka Teeny of TEEN and Jen’s recent tourmate), Mikey Hart (Ex Reyes), comedian Ana Fabrega, and artist/comedian Lorelei Ramirez. Tickets are on sale.
We also traded a few emails with Jen, who answered a few questions about the new album, playing live, Twin Peaks, and more. Read that below.
In a bit of quid pro quo, Jen asked this BV editor some questions, including “Ramsay or Fieri,” and you can read that over at her website.
You’ve collaborated with so many different artists over the years who make different kinds of music. Still this is pretty different than what you’ve been involved in in the past. Did you have a clear idea of the kind of record you wanted to make?
If i did I don’t think I’d be able to remember it! Or any memory of that kind of intention would at this point be a total lie that I just made up.
Did you set any rules for yourself when making it? Was it even like that in a traditional “I’m making an album” way, or did you have song ideas you had been working on for some time and then realized “hey this could be an album”?
There weren’t so many rules as much as limitations. Like, I only had so many plugins then. I have so many plugins now. Who knows how different the record would be if I made it today. But the songs would just be different, not necessarily better. Even in a live context I like to think there is no wrong way to play these songs. The songs on the record are from the time when I made them. They are just a postcard from the process.
What do you write on — piano? Guitar? humming things into your phone?
Don’t forget about the b@ss, bra! And also all of the above.
What song are you most proud of on the album and why? What song do you like singing live the most?
“Secret NRG” feels most like an out of body experience of a song. Is that pride? I love singing “Oh Shit” and “Propel” live. It’s very fun doing the harmonies on “Propel” (with my bud Teeny) and to be able to stretch the timing on that one. And it’s fun to sing the words “oh shit” at people.
Speaking of Teeny (from TEEN), you just toured with her. Any lessons learned from that trek?
Yes! I have learned that You Can Do Any Whatever.
It may just be me having Twin Peaks on the brain, but was ‘How R U’ a conscious nod to the show’s theme music?
Yea, a little bit! My bandmates from Sunny Day, Ben and Ryan, wrote that one with me. I heavily associate Twin Peaks with Ben and I do believe he noticed that it had a Badalamenti nod. I don’t know if I referenced it for Peaks sake or his. I’m sure the truth is in an email somewhere.
You’ve got what looks like a very special record release party coming up at Union Pool. What can we expect?
I can’t believe I’m even invited to this release party! The performers/creators on this show are the most inspiring people that I know. Right now we’re looking into how much weight the rafters can hold. Also, there are these mirrors behind the bar. I was on www.breakglass.org and they said that the volume required to break glass “is more than 100 db, a level that is difficult but not impossible to reach with just the voice.” So, I know we’d like to avoid that at all costs, but that’s probably going to be our biggest challenge moving forward with this show.