I’ve been following the development of Gabrielle Aplin since her YouTube covers and I’ve always been a big fan of her music. However, her latest album Light Up The Dark disappointed me. Honestly, I can barely remember most of it (bar perhaps Skeleton Love and Sweet Nothing). Her latest EP has somewhat redeemed that. The title track displays Gabrielle’s exploration with a new sound and new song-writing style. The song is less about soulful lyrics than about an honest, simple declaration. It is neither an empowering break-up ballad nor a pining song about lost love. Gabrielle simply sings that although she’s been “been loving my life waking up on my own” she misses her loved one desperately. The song is actually very upbeat and pretty fun. Perhaps the best thing about the song is the music video. A long way from the deserted house and solitary piano in the video for The Power Of Love, her latest video is quirky, playful and amusing. Dressed in a range of garish 70s outfits, the singer is pictured with a giant ice cream cone, being enveloped by a sofa and being showered in confetti. Gabrielle is clearly playing with the whole idea of what a music video should involve, and even has the camera and makeup crew make an appearance too (all very meta).
A piano cover of the title track ends the EP. The version is more reminiscent of her old sound and the simplicity allows her to show off her vocals. However, although I personally enjoy it, Gabrielle’s vocal sound has divided opinion in the past so if you’re not a fan of her high range then I wouldn’t recommend this track to you. I also feel the stripped-back version loses a lot of the fun, playfulness of the original so I’d question whether it was even necessary.
The second track Night Bus shows a definite drift from the folky-ness of her earlier music. The electronic/pop influence is definitely different but unfortunately not all that interesting. While this track disappointed me, the song which follows it definitely didn’t. In contrast to the simple lyrics of the title track, Run For Cover displays the full extent of Gabrielle’s song-writing capabilities. She sings “We are dreams of foolish gold / Live recklessly with our hearts / And with hands too hard to hold / You wrapped me into your arms”. The track is eerie, compelling and displays her strengths beautifully.
I’m divided on this EP. I’d be happy to listen to Miss You and Run For Cover over and over, whereas I don’t think I’d miss the other two if I never heard them again.