It seems bewildering to believe that the beautiful EP ‘Acoustic’ from Gabrielle Aplin was released only 5 years ago, on paper 5 years is a long time, but when you listen to ‘Acoustic’ in comparison to ‘Light up the dark’ it is an incredible progression of change to occur in 5 years. ‘Acoustic’ was and still is one of my favourite EP’s, it’s soft, it’s lyrically creative and there is an identity behind it that still tells you that it is distinctly the voice of Gabrielle. Now here we are in 2015 after the release of her ‘Light up the Dark’ album, a delectable concoction of mature, equally different, and personal songs that despite just how different they seem from Acoustic still retain an undeniable level of identity behind them… but it’s different.
I’ve written many times before about how I feel now, as a 20 year old, that my writing and perspective of the world and the things in it has matured with each year that’s gone by, and this seems to be the case of Gabrielle Aplin. Her identity is still the same as it was before, however it’s matured with her, it’s become more confident, more daring and even more distinctive. It seems that over the 5 years she has been finely tuning in on her own style and discovering what works not just for her audience but for herself and that comes across in this album. Listening to Acoustic and then English Rain and now Light Up The Dark it’s almost as if you can feel the progression, as her styles, and rhythms and lyrical storytelling take on a different stance. When English Rain was released, it was a great debut album to put forward into the industry, and it’s reception was great, it was an album that belonged to a well recognised genre but that took a slightly different twist, an older one in my opinion.There was something in it that reminded me of other artists, but I could never pin it down until now with Light Up The Dark which really feels like the bigger, more experienced, more confident older sister to English Rain. It’s rocky, it’s soulful and it’s poppy, it is an album that takes elements from today’s music, and yesterdays music and merges it to create an exciting mixture. There are tracks like ‘Hurt’ and ‘Sweet Nothing’ that feel so wonderfully Joni Mitchell inspired, but with a twist. Apologies for the upcoming food analogy, but I’m pretty hungry right now, and who needs an excuse to chuck out a food analogy? Light Up The Dark feels as if it has been created like a chefs new recipe, it includes a pinch of one influence, a sprinkle of another and a handful of one more for good measure but with a huge dollop of they’re own ingredient; their personality. Just like recipes the fact that it is similar to other artists work does not make it unoriginal and I really dislike saying for example that she is the ‘new joni mitchell’ or anything like that because that wouldn’t be fair, no matter what influenced it, it is still distinctly hers. In fact she is simply the ‘New Gabrielle Aplin’ one that still writes and sings the songs we loved before, but with an increased braveness, and one that is seemingly not afraid of releasing songs that could have a marmite reception (again food, im so sorry) if it means that the songs she wants to release get their time.
My favourite track is ‘Slip Away’, what’s yours?