The Gramercy Riffs

Photo by Matt Finateri

Long distance relationships, even though they’re painful, can actually have their fair share of joyful moments. The feeling you get when you receive a letter or care package from the one you love is so sad, so sweet a feeling that it makes you want to die inside.

That feeling is at the heart of the heartbreak/nostalgia pop band The Gramercy Riffs.

In fall of 2007, Lee Hanlon and Mara Pellerin waved goodbye… for a while. Hanlon went away to Germany for school, where he studied German and International Business, and Pellerin stayed behind in St. John’s.

“We had been meaning to start a band together and wrote stuff over the past two years,” says Hanlon. “(But) we had to get lonely before we got started.”

Both wrote a handful of songs independently and sent them back and forth to each other. Hanlon returned at Christmas five months later, and in January they recruited Adrian Collins, Daniel Banoub, and Jamie March to fill out the band and work out the tunes.

“We started playing in June and had one fun summer,” Hanlon says.

Some select quotes from the wall of their Facebook page:

“You couldn’t have captured St. John’s early 21st century summer more perfectly…” “You are all the ‘bee’s knees.’ I am in love with your music….” and “You guys are like unicorns slaying dragons.”

As the summer draws to a close, so too passes your chance to catch these folks live, since now it’s Pellerin’s turn to head out of town to school.

On the brighter side, it will likely inspire more material.

Ah, it’s a double-edged sword. EL