Gabrielle Aplin is currently 2017's biggest wild card for us... she's revamped herself and her sound and were in utter awe... She's kinda infamously known for being a part of a huge John Lewis advert back in 2012 and covering the hugely popular 'The Power Of Love' and it kick started her career in the folk-pop area... however 'Avalon' sees a completely new sound for her, she's stuck some colour on her herself and gone all 80s and we fricking love it.
Opening track and single 'Waking Up Slow' is a euphoric bop and there's no other words to describe it... it's electric and wonderful and all things 80s and it's ear-worm in it's highest form... as she bounces "all my nights taste like gold / yeah, when I'm with you it's like everything glows." The track is about falling in love with a friend... someone you never considered as anything more, but under the disco lights, their suddenly more to you... like we said... euphoric and wonderful. And it doesn't end there... second track 'Say Nothing' draws you in from it's opening chords... this is where Gabrielle has really dialled it up... the track is super synthy and has a bit of a Ellie Goulding / Tove Lo vibe about it and it's wonderful... she pleas on the pre-chorus "do anything it takes / tell me it was a mistake" before echoing "say anything to make me stay / but you say nothing" over a high-pitched, electric voice that repeats "say nothing." It's such a big track. The guy Gabrielle's into is watching her leave and not stopping her... she's begging for him to stop her, but he's not there... he's not giving her anything.
One thing that's evident with Gabrielle is how experimental she is... every track on the EP changes up and brings something new to the table and 'Used To Do' has the folk-pop vibe about it that were more familiar from her, but it feels a little more Imogen Heap (in the verses anyway) than her previous work and were sorry to keep referencing her work to other people, but it's a compliment... the high-energy chorus however is distinctly her own (maybe a little bit Michelle Branch-esque)... "nobody loves me like you used to do" she stampeeds on the track and our hearts melt just a little bit. Closing track 'Stay' picks up the synths again but it's a little bit more mid-tempo in the verses before building up to a rather noisy chorus as she alerts her lover "did you think I'd staaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyy?" with slightly, overproduced vocals on the chorus... but her voice remains natural and distant on the verses.
'Avalon' is like a cough sweet... short, sweet and too short lasting! It's like Gabrielle is giving us a glimpse into this fabulous new artist and then leaves you hanging... wanting more... I mean we will have 'Say Nothing' on repeat for a while but we could most certainly enjoy a whole album of this sound... we love how through her new direction, there is still a really sense of the folk-pop girl. She's turned over a new page, but there's glimpses of the old girl there and for that we love her.
GABRIELLE APLIN 'AVALON'