New Sounds: Gabrielle Marlena gets a fresh tattoo in ‘Second Guess’

Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter Gabrielle Marlena has taken things to another level with the video for her latest single, “Second Guess,” which depicts her sitting down and getting some new ink on her inner forearm. The display is hardly for show as Marlena thought getting an actual tattoo would fit the theme song, which comes from her debut LP, this month’s Good Music for You. We’re giving digital ink to her permanent ink; watch the video below.

“I had planned on getting a tattoo from my friend Rosa Bluestone Perr — who actually used to be my camp counselor — for a while, and she and I finally settled on an idea for a design around the same time that I was thinking about making a new music video for a song on the record,” Marlena tells Vanyaland. “Rosa had actually acted as the ‘other love interest’ in my first music video for “Rescue You.” I remember suddenly thinking, ‘Why don’t we film this?’ She tattoos out of her bedroom, which is beautiful, so Logan Floyd, the filmmaker, loved the idea. I chose the song “Second Guess” because it’s about not second-guessing emotions, actions, and decisions. What would be more appropriate than getting a tattoo in the video?”

The effect the setting adds an element of vulnerability to an already sensitive song, one from an album full of them, with Good Music for You a break-up effort for the ages.  Receiving the stick-and-poke tattoo as Marlena reflects on the people and decisions that led her to this point in her life was all part of a last minute perfect storm.

“It wasn’t until the day before filming that I texted my drummer, Jordan Brooks, and asked him to be in the video,” she says. “I wanted something else to be going on in the room, something that seemed out of place, and that had motion. So we hauled a friend’s drum set into Rosa’s bedroom for three hours, in which time we were able to quickly set up, film, and get out of there before we all ran off to places we had to be that night — me with a bandage around my arm.”

Having spent time performing and developing her sound in the Montreal music scene, Marlena moved to Brooklyn last fall. She cites the likes Sharon Van Etten and Alanis Morissette as inspiration, with the sound on Good Music for You centered around bright instrumentation and a style of songwriting that’s both melodic and emotional.

Tomorrow night (August 15), Marlena will be hosting a free record release show at Rockwood Music Hall on New York’s Lower East Side.

Featured Gabrielle Marlena photo by Hayley Hill.