Sunday, 29 November 2015

Gabrielle Aplin


Photo: abidainton @Flickr

 Shortly after returning to Manchester after my wonderful Spanish summer, I saw that a Gabrielle Aplin gig was up for grabs to review for The Mancunion. I had heard a few songs by Gabrielle and liked them, and claimed the gig in the hope of getting to know her better.

 There was then a lot of confusion between The Mancunion and her people and I was told by The Mancunion not to bother going as they weren't sure whether or not I would be on the guestlist. However, I decided to go to the venue - The Deaf Institute - and see what I could find out.

 It transpired that I wasn't on the guestlist but when I explained what had happened they let me in anyway. Relieved, I got a San Pellegrino, took a seat and sat back to watch what turned out to be a pretty great show.

 My review for The Mancunion of Gabrielle and her support Sample Answer can be found here but I also wanted to share with you some general thoughts about her music.

 She has released two albums, the folksy English Rain and the rockier Light Up The Dark. The thing is, when performed accoustically, any of the songs could be from either album. It's purely the production that separates them. Gabrielle has a very definite songwriting and performing style that remains unchanged.

 One of my favourites, as mentioned in the piece, is Don't Break Your Heart On Me.

 This is actually a secret track on Light Up The Dark - you have to wait a while after the last official song for it to appear. I like the general concept of secret songs (although in these Internet days, can any track really be secret?) but think this one is so good it should be on the main album.

 It's a classic example of what is clearly a folk song at heart, made grungier and darker by the production. I loved it sung accoustically on the night and was doubtful at first about the album version. But I've learnt to really like it.

 Another song from Light Up The Dark that I love is Hurt.

 Hurt is kind of the opposite of Don't Break Your Heart On Me in that I wasn't ecstatic about her live performance of it but fell in love with the studio version. 

 The song really reminds me of the relationship between Emily Starr and Dean Priest in Emily of New Moon and its sequels by LM Montgomery. Emily never loves the much older Dean but admires him and feels sorry for him as he has a humpback and has been spurned by society as a result. 

 For me, Emily's feelings towards him are evoked so strongly by this song and I wish they would make a video for it telling the story - I can imagine exactly how it would look, scene by scene! Gabrielle looks enough like Emily that she could play her and it could be amazing. The Emily books need more attention - for me they are far superior to the Anne (of Green Gables) books.

 The final song I want to highlight is from English Rain and is How Do You Feel Today?

 After the show I could not get this song out of my head but I wasn't totally sure it was actually by Gabrielle and not just some random other song that had invaded my mind. I kept forgetting to check it when I was online and it was getting annoying! 

 All the time I was remembering more and more of the song and it was coming to me more and more clearly. Eventually I looked it up and found it and love it so much. Her voice is perhaps the best in the above video that I have ever heard it (though it is always lovely) and the guitar is brilliant, too.

 I hope you've enjoyed learning about Gabrielle Aplin - I have high hopes for this talented young woman.

 Thanks for reading,

 Liz x

Songs: Don't Break Your Heart On Me - Gabrielle Aplin - 2015
Hurt - Gabrielle Aplin - 2015
How Do You Feel Today? - Gabrielle Aplin - 2013

1 comment:

  1. i like this comment, Gabrielle Aplin is a great singer