Influenced by Tame Impala, Free Nationals and King Krule (to name a few), Dainty Yank is the solo project of a guy named Garrett DeMartinis. Still a newbie on the scene, Dainty Yank has released only a couple of singles and an EP. We speak with Garrett about his music, future plans and much more!
How did you come up with the name Dainty Yank?
My natural state is a far cry from the machismo that so many of us were raised around in the US. After moving to France, when I first came back to visit home, I had picked up certain mannerisms and habits that were best described as “dainty”. Being an American in Paris, “yank” was just another identifier.
How did Dainty Yank come about?
Principally, I’ve always thought of myself as a songwriter, but I’ve been playing musical chairs in every band I’ve been in for the past 15 years between guitar, singing, bass, some keys, even drums. All rounded out with some recording, production and mixing experience. I figured I would just explore doing everything myself this time in one contained project which took the form of the first Dainty Yank EP, Fake Faces of (A)…Dainty Yank.
How would you describe your music?
A mix of attitudes. I like to blend atmospheres. Hearing something that is challenging to describe gets me off. It can totally be for the better or for worse, so, personally, I’m trying to take my music into those cross-sections that I know exist in the ethers of the musical web. It’s not spaces that are necessarily undiscovered, but those that are less frequented. I want to explore them while trying to remain accessible and have a certain “pop” quality. I’m not delusional enough to think I’m making experimental music; it definitely remains in the realms of pop.
How did you feel when ‘Morning After’ was released?
I was jazzed. Totally cool to make and share it. I’d never really done a video, even on a small scale like that.
What can you tell us about the video for ‘Morning After’?
Well, it was made during confinement here in Paris at my girlfriend’s place using the same backdrop we had painted for my upcoming EP’s photoshoot *spoiler alert*
What are the benefits of a “homemade” music video?
We were able to make it during the quarantine! Like, wake up, smoke a spliff, set up the backdrop and recording/video equipment, then start cutting takes.
Originally, it was supposed to be a “live” video with me three times – one take with each instrument. We were having so much fun with it that we decided to just go further and make a music video. The audio still has a live quality, but we ended up doing a bunch of shots to have some funny clips. Benefits of a homemade video being that we’re just playing dress-up in our home playground.
What do you find more difficult – melody or lyrics?
That depends. This project probably took more effort in the melody department because I wrote and composed most of the songs in my apartment between midnight and 5 am. Those were the only moments I could find calm in my days. So, lyrics came easily, but moulding the melodies to the songs was more of an afterthought.
This project has been a huge learning process. I did it with a “production first” mentality as opposed to actually writing a song then arranging around it like I’m used to. Probably not going to keep on that path though.
Where do you hope to be in five years?
Alive in a world that respects and values the people living and contributing to it instead of killing and profiting from the incarceration and submission of our black, brown, Asian, queer, trans, and foreign brothers and sisters. Also making music, of course.
Do you have anything else set up for 2020?
The beauty, and primary cause of self-hate, of Dainty Yank is that I do nearly everything myself, so lockdown has been a blessing in disguise for me. My next EP New Impressions of (a)…Dainty Yank should be out in the first week of July. The date coincides with my departure from France as well. I’m going home after five years. Quit my job and packed my bags, so expect more soon!
Do you have any message for fans and potential fans?
This is a strange and unprecedented situation for everyone around the world. Help each other out and check in with your homies often. Being actively kind and caring is underrated.