The Gallaghers. The Everlys. Tim and Neil Finn. Ray and Dave Davies. Siblings in bands make great music, but they do tend to squabble. In the moody clip for “Sticky Note,” the latest single from The Gillum Bros, a beautiful woman leaves one brother (Keith, the singer) for another (Ryan, the piano player). One Gillum gets the girl; the other Gillum sits, dejected, on his bed with a post-it on his head that reads “lonely.” It’s a cheeky acknowledgment of the sort of rivalry that exists within every family.
However, if anything about the “Sticky Note” clip reflects genuine dissension between these brothers, the music sure isn’t giving that away. You’d be hard pressed to find two musicians who work together better – or whose talents are as complementary – than this pair of siblings. Keith is the velvet-voiced crooner whose melodies radiate passion, pain, and poise, while Ryan is the expert musician and arranger whose whip-smart compositions incorporate elements of power pop, soundtracks and show tunes, cabaret, classic rock, and whatever else catches his ear. Together, they’re an unstoppable force: an old-fashioned songwriting team with ideas and sounds that fit on any contemporary playlist.
Take “Sticky Note,” for instance. Much about the recording is reminiscent of early rock – and even pre-rock – standards, including Keith’s aching torch-song delivery, Ryan’s meticulous chord architecture, the smoky lounge piano, and delicate drums, and the witty, urbane lyrics. Even the scenario – a bad breakup, and the feelings left in its wake – is eternal. Yet the song feels modern, too, and the mix positively sparkles with the urgency of 2019 pop. Distinctions between genres may continue to crumble, but sturdy songwriting is always in fashion, and that’s exactly what the Gillum Bros have in spades.
Will DaRosa’s video for “Sticky Note” is every bit as timeless as the song. The smartly-dressed female lead could be stepping out in the middle of the 20th century or the beginning of this one. The red Chevrolet convertible that roars through the frames might be a recent make, but its significance is as old as rock and roll. The spinet on which Ryan bangs out the chords to the song is worn with age; even his bad-guy tattoos are classic. The result is a video that could have played as well in 1953 as it does in 2019, and one that pop fans are likely to be watching, and re-watching, for many years to come.