When it comes to memorial songs, nice folks deserve piano tributes and legends deserve heist music. At least, that’s how Gatch’s current songbook operates.
The Boston musician puts away the tissues and whips out the hair gel for “Italian Leather,” his new single honoring his late cousin and “eternal embodiment of cool,” Lou Ritacco. Crafted alongside The Arcitype, the song plays like a pimp strut, trampling weepy ballads under its (presumably) Gucci heels. “I don’t leave no fingerprints / And I’m about to get my hands on you,” Gatch winks on the chorus, backed by a big band sound that drips with seventies schmaltz.
“Growing up, my cousin Lou was the coolest person on the planet to me,” Gatch tells Vanyaland. “He was the closest thing to a cowboy that I ever knew, and even though his days of rubbing elbows with Hollywood’s finest had passed, the stories he would tell during our yearly soppressata making sessions put me right there with him… When he passed last fall, I was trying to think of some sort of tribute and the only way I figured I could do that would be by making some good old-fashioned heist music. The content of the song itself may be largely fictional but it all stems from some kernel of truth.”
“You ain’t never seen this smoooooth,” he emphasizes on the chorus, insinuating a slick two-step across the dancefloor as he stretches out that final syllable. Under all the glitz, “Italian Leather” shares a snappy reminder that legends never die — especially if you keep their story on replay.