Gabi Releases WILD SUNFLOWERS Off EMPTY ME, Out 10/5 via Double Double Whammy
GABI, the moniker of New York-based experimental singer and composer Gabrielle Herbst, has released "Wild Sunflowers," the most recent single from her upcoming album, Empty Me. LISTEN TO "WILD SUNFLOWERS"
Stereogum, who premiered the song today are saying "the songs that Gabrielle Herbst writes unfold slowly and carefully, every barely perceptible shift of sonic weight shading in new colors and transporting the listener closer to some ineffable emotional truth." Empty Me is available for pre-order now and due out October 5th via Double Double Whammy.
Additionally, GABI has announced a Fall tour that includes a record release show in Brooklyn, NY with Julianna Barwick and Foxes in Fiction, plus dates with Mutual Benefit. All dates below.
LISTEN TO PREVIOUS SINGLES
10/3 - Brooklyn, NY @ The Park Chuch Co-Op ^
11/13 - Los Angeles, CA @ Resident *
11/17 - San Fransisco, CA @ The Chapel *
11/19 - Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge *
11/20 - Seattle, WA @ The Vera Project *
11/21 - Vancouver, BC @ The Biltmore *
11/30 - Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry *
12/1 - Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle *
12/3 - Toronto, ON @ The Garrison *
12/4 - Montreal, QC @ Bar Le Ritz PDB *
12/5 - Boston, MA @ The Great Scott *
12/7 - Washington, DC @ DC9 *
12/8 - Brooklyn, NY @ The Park Chuch Co-Op *
^ Empty Me Record Release Show w/ Julianna Barwick & Foxes In Fiction
* w/ Mutual Benefit
PRAISE FOR GABI:
"A classically trained musician and composer, Gabrielle Herbst uses her project GABI to navigate the middle ground between operatic virtuosity and pop music delight. On 'Whole With You,' Herbst plumbs the emotional potentials of her own voice, teasing out the dimensions of romantic longing with a performance that never quite resolves itself. Her voice is restless and so is she." -Pitchfork
"Devastatingly beautiful... ethereal-sounding songs that feel one step away from belonging on an opera stage. The song is stunning in its execution and devastating in its composition-as if GABI's trying to send a message to God or some other spiritual being." -The FADER
"'Whole With You' sounds entirely singular, a beautifully rendered piece that blends warm piano and prickling strings and Herbst's airy voice into an intoxicating mix." -Stereogum
Empty Me, Gabrielle Herbst's second album as GABI and first for Double Double Whammy, is a celebration of discovery, collaboration and community - and a leap into bold new territory for the singer and composer.
After releasing her debut album, Sympathy, on Software in 2015 and touring North America and Europe, Herbst found herself in an intense, transformative time. She'd often wake up in the middle of the night needing to write new songs, improvising while half-asleep at her keyboard. In the years to come, these ideas, feelings, and experiments would lead her to a new sound, to healing, and the most direct music she has ever made - including "Sleep," Empty Me's statement of purpose.
"I was not interested in virtuosity, really. I was drawn to music that had that element of necessity to it. I wanted to find that in myself and strip everything else away."
When she wasn't applying to the Yale School of Music, where she will be pursuing a Master of Music degree in composition, writing classical pieces for the Nouveau Classical Project, or working on her newest opera, Ashes, commissioned by Roulette and the Jerome Foundation, she was exploring her new songs in sessions with Dale Eisinger in the spring of 2017, focused primarily on piano and voice. However, when she began arranging the songs with harpist Marilu Donovan and bass clarinetist Mara Mayer, she made a major breakthrough. "It was like finding a new sound - and I got really, really into it."
Herbst and producer Eric Littmann then worked tirelessly between full-time jobs to bring the songs to life over the next seven months, constantly finding new paths along the way. She describes moments like the choral harmonies on "Let's Not Exist" as the result of being on the verge of heatstroke on a deathly hot summer day in Littmann's bedroom studio.
She details how lead single "Whole With You" changed many times before becoming what it is now: "It has an element of loss to it. A searching for something. It's about coming into yourself and fighting back for yourself. It's come from an intense, personal place, and has been transformed through collaboration. Eric and I put the love in."
It's a record of ecstatic moments brought into the world through experimentation and openness. Contributions by violist Jacob Falby, flutist Laura Cox, percussionist Matt Evans, and synths by Steve Hauschildt aren't just frills. These parts, like multi-instrumentalist Aaron Roche's horns on "Wild Sunflowers," are sources of power in their own right. "Everyone put their stamp on it in a really meaningful way. Everyone wanted to give to it."
Herbst sees Empty Me as a hopeful record - the sound of charting her own path, pop music on her terms, and the beginning of a new chapter in her multifaceted career.
Photo Credit: Brian Vu