Review Summary: Gabrielle shows us why she is one of the top artists to watch in 2012.
The future looks extremely promising for Gabrielle Aplin, the nineteen year old pop singer/songwriter fresh out of Bath, Somerset. On the verge of releasing her third EP since 2010, she has already been warmly received by fans and critics alike, and Never Fade
is a perfect example of why that is. With a four song album length that is modest even by extended play standards, Aplin’s second official release offers a glimpse of what is forthcoming from the mesmeric, whimsical starlet.
With the Acoustic EP
in the rearview mirror and the Home EP
on the horizon, Never Fade
proves to be an important stepping stone in Gabrielle’s still very young career. Whereas her earlier material was focused on stripped-down instrumentation and threadbare production, this EP takes her a small step closer to the limelight. There is a figurative bounce in her step that translates straight onto this record, and her confidence can be felt in the triumphant sounding rhythm of the title track as well as the layered vocal melodies of ‘Lying To The Mirror.’ ‘Panic Chord’ is as uncommon as it is infectious, making for one of the best under-the-radar finds of the year, while the closing track ‘Puzzle Piece’ puts Aplin’s pipes on full display to a background of thunderous drum beats. As the waning moments of ‘Puzzle Piece’ fade out, the listener is left spellbound in a buoyant aura that feels like anything but the end – an appropriate conclusion for an artist who likely has some tremendous success heading her way. The EP’s only flaw may be that there isn’t more
of it, but that is an issue that will surely be rectified as fans cry out for more material from the clearly talented songstress.
All in all, the songs on Never Fade
make for an irresistible appetizer, complete with pop, indie, and folk flavors that will dance on your aural palette. There’s nothing here that insists upon a complete crossover into accessibility, but the mere presence of mainstream ingredients within the shadow of Aplin’s much quirkier style (in the vein of Lanu’s
Megan Washington or Ingrid Michaelson) is what makes this such an intriguing piece. Those looking for flawlessly crafted melodies and heavy doses of personality need not look past Never Fade
, which proves to be Aplin’s most colorful composition to date. Look out 2012, because charming indie-pop just might have a new heir to the throne.