Virginia songwriter Skylar Gudasz has been playing music for the majority of her life, learning the flute at just five years old before moving to piano and guitar. After graduating from the University of North Carolina with a degree in theater and creative writing, she stuck around Chapel Hill and joined a community of fellow artists. There, she collaborated with producer Jeff Crawford (Old Ceremony) and bassist Casey Toll (Mount Moriah) on her first EP, Two Headed Monster, in 2011.
It was in Chapel Hill that she also connected with producer Chris Stamey of The dB’s. Stamey was working on his all-star tribute project Big Star’s Third, which featured artists like R.E.M.’s Mike Mills and The Posie’s Ken Stringfellow teaming up with Big Star’s Jody Stephens to pay homage to the legendary Nashville act. Gudasz was invited to join the rotating cast of icons for the project’s world tour. Upon returning home, she and Stamey began work on what would become her debut album, Oleander. Due out February 5th via Daniel 13 Press, Gudasz has previewed the release with the video for its lead single “I’m So Happy I Could Die”.
The track highlights Gudasz’s wit and sensibilities that no doubt drew in her famed collaborators. Playing off of Hank Williams’ “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”, she delivers a bitter and empowered ode to heartbreak and moving on set against squealing slide guitar solos. With her sweet voice singing such sardonic lyrics, it’s a sharp and clever introduction to Gudasz’s style of alt-country tunes.
The video, meanwhile, reinforces her humor, showing a despondent Gudasz staring half-blankly at the camera in a variety of scenarios. She wields a sledgehammer in one scene, torpedoes down a waterslide in another, and at one point simply visits the hair salon. All of it perfectly encapsulates the song’s wry despondency.
“‘I’m So Happy I Could Die’ is a heartbreak survivor’s attempt to prove how totally over their past love they are, which of course only goes to show how much they still care,” Gudasz tells Consequence of Sound. “For the video, director Dan Bonne and I shot in over 30 different locations and situations around North Carolina, from the back of a moving truck to a giant water slide to a school playground, to really demonstrate the ‘zero fucks to give’ attitude of the narrator.”
Watch the video below.