EP Review: Gabrielle Aplin – Avalon

gabrielle aplin avalon

Gabrielle Aplin combines the electronic with the acoustic on Avalon
When Gabrielle Aplin had her big breakthrough back in 2012 with her cover of ‘The Power of Love’, not many would have expected to go down the electronic pop route. After her singer-songwriter folk pop debut English Rain the British star went with a more indie rock inspired sound on her sophomore record Light Up The Dark, but then cautiously started to experiment with electronic pop on the 2016 EP Miss You. She continues this path with her latest EP Avalon, because why stick to acoustic instruments only when you can have synths too!?

Gabrielle Aplin dropped the first single, ‘Waking Up Slow’, back in August and if anything became clear, it was that she meant business! Without exaggerating too much, I would like to say it comes dangerously close to being the perfect pop song. The verses are strong enough to immediately pull you in and that chorus just delivers and then some! The production is exactly the right amount of understated, but euphoric and the melody is bright and uplifting. It does tick all the boxes to become an international hit!

Second track ‘Say Nothing’ is probably the most electronic track on the EP with quite some vocal effects in the post-chorus. Aplin does convincingly pull it off with some powerful lyrics in the chorus itself. “So tell me you lie, tell me you we’re high. Let me know why, do anything it takes. Tell me it was a mistake. Tell me how your heart breaks. It meant nothing anyway. Say anything to make me stay, but you say nothing”, Aplin sings. In a press release she explains: “It’s about being stuck between two friends and that frustration you feel when you seem to be the only one reacting.” At the same time it perfectly describes that feeling when the person you are in a relationship with is not working hard enough to make it work. A bop with multiple meanings!

‘Stay’ is an atmospheric synth ballad with some big notes in the chorus, showcasing Aplin’s unlimited vocal potential, while ‘Used To Do’ is the track that is most in line with her guitar based sound on English Rain, be it with more prominent drums. With Avalon, Gabrielle Aplin dares to experiment with new sounds, which results in a diverse little collection of beautiful compostions with honest lyrics, angelic vocals and undeniable choruses.

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