Annie Moscow – “Gypsy Dancer”
Americana Highways brings you this video premiere of Annie Moscow’s song “Gypsy Dancer,” from her forthcoming album Land of Dreams, slated for release on February 2. This album was produced by John Herrera and Annie with assistance by Rachael Nicole Gold, mixed by John Herrera, Seth Glier, Kari Estrin, Annie Moscow and Rachael Nicole Gold; and mastered by Seth Glier. The song, “Gypsy Dancer,” will be available on November 10.
“Gypsy Dancer” is Annie Moscow on piano and vocals; David Landau on cello and guitar; Dom Moio on percussion; Thano Sahnas on bouzouki; Suzanne Lansford on violin; David and Daniel Landau (“The Brothers Landau”) on backing vocals with hand claps by Annie and Rachael Nicole Gold.
The live concert video of Thanos was created by Cowboy Wrecks, Roadapple Ranch Perduckshins, and Annie created the rest of the video – which is quite embellished!
We had a chance to chat with Annie about this song. The premiere appears just beneath this video.
Americana Highways: You wrote this song for a friend. What can you tell us about the inspiration and story behind it?
Annie Moscow: My friend was turning 60. A few years back, she and I had both extricated ourselves from long and compromised marriages. As for myself, I had married young, filled with hopes and delusions, and spent the next 20-plus years simmering in discontent as my fantasies dismantled, piece by piece, until there was nothing left to hang on to. But a new day was dawning, and my friend and I were both committed to self-discovery, opening up to a better life, both of us so ready to move on. Her party invitation stated this was to be a “Gypsy Night,” and mandated we all come dressed as gypsies, prepared to dance. Clearly my friend had put the past behind her and was ready to shine some light back in on herself, and I was right there with her.
AH: What kind of a vibe were you going for on this song? How does the final version differ from what you imagined it might be before you went into the studio?
AM: Awakening and celebration. The suffering is over, and it’s time to come out and play. I love how the song turned out. The lyrics were easy, just like sitting down and talking to a friend. The music brought challenges, though, particularly in the dance section. I initially recorded the song to feature the piano, with a pretty bare rhythm section, but it was falling short of the feeling of total joy and abandonment that I desired to express.
We brought in Suzanne Lansford (of We3), who added on a wonderful gypsy violin part. Then my producer, John Herrera, suggested we bring in Thano Sahnas, a bouzouki virtuoso whom John’s had worked with in their ’90s band, Turning Point. Prior to this, I was not that familiar with bouzoukis, but between Suzanne’s and Thano’s performances, the song came up many levels, far exceeded my expectations, and I couldn’t be happier.
AH: What do you hope listeners get from hearing the song? What was your friend’s reaction to the song?
AM: Renewal. That life can be joyous again, after difficult times.
My friend loved the song. Blown away too, that I had written a song for her. I played it twice the night of her party — the first time as my gift, the second time because everybody wanted to dance to it. It was great!
AH: How does this song fit in among the others on the album? How is it similar and/or how does it stand out as different?
AM: Many of the songs on the album are reflections and observations. “Gypsy Dancer” stands out as an affirmation of opening up, taking back our lives.
AH: Tell us about the video. How did it come together and whose idea was the video treatment? Who worked on the video with you?
AM: I created the video. In my younger days, I went to art school and took myself pretty seriously as a painter — so I’m a visual person by nature. It’s been a few decades since I sat behind an easel, but a few years ago I got into creating short videos for some of my songs and realized how much I missed working with imagery. At first, the technical learning curve was intimidating — it wasn’t as easy as just picking up a brush and then voila – here’s red! Instant gratification. But, fortunately, easy entry software exists, and the first video I did four years ago to my song, “He Paints Cats,” was a very basic, but still very sweet little iMovie slide show. I’ve since moved on to Apple’s moviemaking software, Final Cut Pro, where I force myself to regularly learn new techniques, and every time I learn something new, I’m like a kid with a new toy and use it everywhere. I still consider myself a beginner, but I really enjoy the process. For the “Gypsy Dancer” video, I had just begun getting comfortable with fading different media in and out and also learning how to better film myself — all done on an iPhone. One of my next goals is lighting, but for now, I mostly take advantage of the outdoor, natural light. Last week, I learned how to key frame — a basic animation technique — so, watch out for upcoming videos, especially the very next one!
The additional footage in this video is mostly from stock libraries, as well as some AI-generated images. One of my favorite scenes is where I was able to put myself right into the gypsy’s crystal ball, but most people don’t pick up on that detail in commensurate awareness to my exuberance about it, so, heads up in advance! I also had some great footage of Thanos playing the bouzouki from our recent concert at The Nash in Phoenix, which I was able to edit in.
AH: That’s great! What’s next for Annie Moscow?
AM: My two favorite things are creating and performing. I look forward to many more shows in 2024, including some traveling. And, when I’m not in performing mode or in the studio, you’ll most likely find me behind a desk, nerding out on some newly discovered video tip or trick.
Some people are just born inspirational, and count Annie Moscow among them. Enjoy the lyrics: “Happy birthday to my friend / You’re a gypsy dancer / And you’re shining bright / You’re a gypsy dancer / Now you’re spinnin’ in the light / You’re a gypsy dancer / Come and take us away / Tonight.” There are lots of occasions where this song would be a great asset, listen, enjoy, and save it for your future celebratory playlist.
You can find the music here: https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/anniemoscow/gypsy-dancer
And also here: https://anniemoscow.com/gypsy-dancer