“I used to feel like I was the only one that should have a say in my process,” says Los Angeles-based multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, Gregory Ackerman of his music. “I’ve since discovered that both life and music get better the more people you share them with.”
The latest work that Ackerman is sharing with the world is Still Waiting Still (out September 17th), the follow-up to 2019’s “Stresslove EP” (V2/Munich Records), and Ackerman’s first full-length since his debut album And Friends in 2018.
Still Waiting Still was produced by Pierre de Reeder of Rilo Kiley, who adds touches of hypnotic mysticism on top of the California summer sunset melodies, which beautifully combine with Ackerman’s plainspoken philosophical lyrics and twisty, dexterous guitar to create what is now Ackerman’s signature sound.
Ackerman guesses that half of Still Waiting Still’s 13 songs were written while he was in college, shortly after he had begun to write and record in earnest. His posts of the results on Soundcloud revealed that listeners liked what they heard, and Ackerman was later signed on an unsolicited demo to V2 –affiliated singer-songwriter offshoot, Munich Records.
Today Glide is excited to premiere the music video for Still Waiting Still’s first single. Interestingly, “Full Grown” originally a spare song written when Ackerman was only 20-years-old (he’s now 28), but for this album he decided to give it a full production makeover, thus injecting it with new life. Featuring mournful harmonica and a beautiful string arrangement from violinist Gabriel Wheaton, the song carries a sense of nostalgia that is only amplified by Ackerman’s deep and hushed vocal harmonies and slowly strummed guitar. He also conveys this feeling in the visuals as we see him exploring what we imagine to be old and familiar haunts around his Los Angeles neighborhood. Between the visuals and the music, there is something strangely relatable and pleasing about this lush yet simple indie folk tune.
Gregory Ackerman describes the inspiration behind the song:
“The Arroyo Seco mini-golf course was a staple of both me and my brother Eric’s childhood, adolescence, and even adult years. We would go there as kids all the time, and eventually as teenagers as a space to escape our parents and get drunk. I thought it was a fitting setting to film some footage for a song about becoming ‘Full Grown,’ growing up physically but not yet mentally.
“I included walking our roommate’s dog, Rambis, because I’ve worked as a dog walker as one of my part time jobs for a couple years now, and that activity had really become a part of my routine. I also wanted to show off my neighborhood, Highland Park and the hustle and bustle of Figueroa Street with all its history and happenings, as well as my hometown, South Pasadena.
“These were the streets on which we learned how to be human – how to be kids, to be teenagers, and how to grow into adults. My first outings into the world were on these streets. Growing up, South Pasadena was the whole world to me, and I wanted to echo that feeling of familiarity and of ‘home.'”
Photo credit: Nell T Sherman