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Gibson Recommends The Honorary Title Scream and Light Up the Sky

Ellen Mallernee
Honorary Title Scream and Light Up the Sky Album CoverThree years ago Jarrod Gorbel was just another one of those anonymous hipster musicians from Williamsburg, New York who knocked his guitar case against the shins of everyone on the train. Then, as the Honorary Title, he and multi-instrumentalist pal Aaron Kamstra released Anything Else But the Truth, an acoustic achievement that led to their signing with Warner Brothers. Turns out all those train rides back to Brooklyn paid off: Gorbel spent many of them dashing off lovely lyrics on bar napkins, and later, in his apartment, coaxing what would become the Truth songs from his vintage Gibson ES-150. After that ambitious first release, Gorbel and Kamstra rounded out their duo with drummer Adam Boyd and guitarist Jonathan Wiley, and headed off to L.A. to record their stunning major label debut Scream and Light Up the Sky. The resulting tunes are pining and urgent, polished into a collection of shiny hooks and melodies that show off Gorbel’s killer pipes and serious songwriting chops. In the infectious, building chorus of “Stay Away,” he bellows, “If you’re using me, do it slowly/ Make it last until I have to go” and in the bare-boned final track, he bemoans an absentee father, “Want nothing more than to catch your eye/ Would you be impressed with how far I’ve climbed.” Scream and Light Up the Sky tosses and turns with dark and dizzy big city scenes of unrequited love. During a recent interview with Gibson, Gorbel wasn’t at all convincing when he insisted, “Honorary Title’s a very working class band. It’s not like some extravagant party. I’ve got no dreams of rock stardom.” With Gorbel’s seamless integration of pop, punk, and poetry and his album’s recent introduction into Billboard’s hierarchy, rock stardom may be exactly what he has to look forward to. 

Jarrod Gorbel of The Honorary Title Plays Gibson ES-150