by Grace Fields, Knightly News staff editor
Singer-songwriter Gabrielle Aplin is back with a new EP that strays further away from her folk pop roots to which she found her fame through in her debut album, English Rain. Her sophomore album, Light Up The Dark, gave listeners a more indie rock inspired sound. One year after the 2015 release of her second album, Aplin slowly started to experiment with synth pop on her EP Miss You. Aplin continues to stay on this new electronic pop path in her newest EP Avalon, and I think this new sound works for her.
“Heaven help me, my mind changes like the wind,” are the powerful opening lyrics to the first song on the EP, “Waking Up Slow.” The song, described as an “ah-ha!” moment, has our narrator come to the realization that they’ve fallen in love with someone they used to see as just a friend. Aplin’s new direction is evident from “Waking Up Slow” with electric guitars, synths and electronic beats giving this a more commercial/indie-pop sort of flair. The song has been a huge hit already, having over 1.5 million plays on Spotify. “Waking Up Slow” is a fantastic song with amazing lyrics and Aplin’s voice fits perfectly with the background instrumentals.
The second track off of Avalon EP, “Say Nothing,” tells about the ending of a relationship due to a partner being unable to make an excuse for the other to stay. Though incredibly catchy, due to its synth pop sound, the lyrics give off a completely different feeling. This song is one of those ones that makes you want to dance, but also makes you think about the lyrics behind it. “Say Nothing” is personally my favorite song off the EP.
Next on the tracklist is “Used To Do.” “Used To Do” reflects on her earlier works and sound, slowing down the pace temporarily and focusing more around her vocals and is backed by acoustic guitar and piano. The song is about someone returning to a relationship, hoping their partner can rekindle the fire they had once before. “Used To Do” is nice, slow, and calming, making it an enjoyable song.
“Stay” is the final song on Avalon EP. In “Stay,” Aplin tells of a relationship that is ready to give out and a lover who’s willing to leave the other behind in memories of what used to be. The song was originally released as a performance through Mahogany Sessions in April of this year. Her talents shine throughout this song, giving Aplin many moments to show off her powerful high notes. “Stay” is the perfect ending to the EP and gives listeners a sense of completion upon listening to the entirety of Avalon EP.
I love love love the direction Gabrielle Aplin has decided to go with her EP Avalon. Though she keeps her recognizable and distinctive sound vocally, Aplin’s work now sounds more mature and evolved which I find wonderful. Avalon EP lets fans see Aplin grow more as an artist and person.