Album Review: "Light Up The Dark" by Gabrielle Aplin (Deluxe)


Hey guys!

I think we all know that feeling of excitement when your favourite artist/band announces the release date for their next album.
Knowing you'll soon have new songs to crawl into, learn word by word, fall in love with and relate to is just one lovely feeling!
I'll be honest with you here - when Gabrielle Aplin announced her second album, I lost all my calm! And now that I've listened to it, I still lose it.

But let's not speak about me being embarrassing, let's focus on the album.

Artist: Gabrielle Aplin
Title: Light Up The Dark
Genre: Acoustic, Folk-Rock
 Label: Parlophone
Release: 18th September 2015
HITS rating: 9.5/10

Gabrielle Aplin is a singer/songwriter from Bath, England.
To genrefy her you could use acoustic sprinkled with rock and folk elements.

Gabrielle made herself a name by uploading videos on YouTube of her covering songs like 'My Heart' by Paramore or 'The Liar and The Lighter' by You Me At Six.
She didn't mean to upload covers though, it was a friend who told her to upload some music and see what happens.
So far 'Gabby' has played tons of festivals, supported John Mayer on tour and sold quite a few copies of her record and the EPs.
She released her debut album "English Rain" in May 2013 and now she just released "Light Up The Dark", her second longplayer.

1) Light Up The Dark
2) Skeleton
3) Fools Love
4) Slip Away
5) Sweet Nothing
6) Heavy Heart
7) Shallow Love
8) Anybody Out There
9) Hurt
10) Together
11) What Did You Do?
12) A While
--- deluxe edition (bonus tracks) ---
13) Don't Break Your Heart On Me
14) This Side Of The Moon
15) Coming Home
16) Letting You Go
17) The House We Never Built
18) You Don't Like Dancing

Opener and title track of the album, "Light Up The Dark" grabs your attention by sounding more mysterious and slightly rockier than Gabrielle's previous material. The e-guitar is more dominant, the bassline is more present, the percussion and drum section compliment each other.
The vocals vary from hugging the instrumentals in the verses to standing on their own in the choruses. The song is a perfect opener for a very energetic album.

"Skeleton" combines light and delicate piano chords with rough and edgy guitar riffs. The song ties in a slightly grungy feeling. Whilst the instrumentals are rather heavy, Gabrielle's light vocals create a clever contrast.
Lyrically the song is pretty straight forward; "There's nothing on your skeleton, your heart is gone. You're acting like it doesn't even matter, like I don't even matter."
The first verse describes the shock you experience when somebody turns into a cold hearted person. In the bridge the songwriter starts to act cold as well. ("Up in the clouds, you're gonna fall, down in the dirt. Doesn't even matter.")
Backing vocals, percussions and bass line are on point, there's really no other way to describe it. "Skeleton" is one of the strongest tracks on the album.

"Heavy Heart" is the first Aplin-esque song on "Light Up The Dark". Whilst the previous songs all brought new elements to the album, this ballad marches into the direction Gabrielle fans are used to - a calm atmosphere, smooth guitar work, a subtle rhyhtm section and gorgeous vocals.

With "This Side Of The Moon" Aplin breaks into a mysterious mood; the very present bass line leads you through the track and howls along to the singer's voice.

"The House We Never Built" is probably the most emotional ballad on the album. The instrumentals are flawless, yet it's Gabrielle's voice which makes the track so special; her fragile yet expressive vocals tell the story of a break up in an effortlessly stunning manner.

To sum it up: If you're looking for an artist who is not afraid to perform a beautiful ballad one minute, only to jump into an upbeat track the next minute, you're looking for Gabrielle Aplin. Even though this is only her second album, the singer/songwriter already knows what works for her. Tons of elements, tons of different styles - "Light Up The Dark" offers so much but it doesn't squish you with too many elements.
It is an album you really want to check out.

You should listen to these tracks: Skeleton, Sweet Nothing, This Side Of The Moon, The House We Never Built

Gabrielle Aplin online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube

Thank you for reading!

Credits // Text: Vanessa Jertschewske | Image: Gabrielle Aplin (Facebook)


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