THE DAY HAS COME.
If you have followed this blog over the past year or so, you will be fully aware of my discovery, viewing, following (remember this?!) and eventual conclusion that Gabriel Bruce is ultimately the best thing to happen in music for a very, very long time. Well, I take great happiness in saying, his debut album is out Monday, cryingly awesome and here’s my thoughts on the wonder that is Love In Arms.
Dark Lights Shine Loud opens the album in complete thunderous dancing style expected of Mr Bruce by this point, the horns are in full flow and you can just tell the dancing shoes have been donned before the first chorus, the way to introduce yourself would be to burst in to this song, brilliant. Honey Honey Honey next, possibly the catchiest chorus known to man purely because it is just “HONEY HONEY HONEY HONEY COME ON LET’S GET LOST” over and over, but done in such a way over a sub-by bass, lush backing and a minimally percussive sound that only emphasises the complete roar of his vocals.
After this we have Sleep Paralysis, the first track anyone who is anyone ever heard of this man and just spine tinglingly brilliant – left barely touched from it’s single self – circa November 2011, the haunting Farfisa and croons of ghosts past are just as effectively groundbreaking to my ears as they were back then, dramatic, atmospheric and everything Nick Cave would cry for, don’t get me started on the bit when the bass kicks in, complete with subtle new synth – a serious, serious introduction that’s left an impression that never fades away – don’t stop the dance.
Then latest single Greedy Little Heart steps forward and propels us back to the preaching synth that you PHYSICALLY CANNOT not dance to, the 4 to the floor slowly ingraines itself and you become a disco classic – I can’t even attempt to classify this music, it’s the rawest ingenius organ dance pop – make that only- I’ve ever heard, but it’s certainly making me strong -AH (yes i went there with the puns) – By the spiralling synths, it makes me want to cry at how great it is, it honestly does. Gabriel Bruce induced breakdowns are a thing now.
El Musgo is a new one – as in one of the rare few on the album I haven’t yet managed to get hold of and have on repeat for at least the past six months – and it too is very good, it slows it back down again for a melancholic sustained Farfisa type, not as dark as Sleep Paralysis but as beautifully crafted, the lavish backing vocals act in perfect contrast against that rumbling baritone again and the marching band euphoria slowly creeps in.
Zoe is utterly brilliant. I was very happy to see this carried through from the EP to the album purely for that reason alone. It can only be described as a spaced out calypso dance track with that earth shaking growl, the creep look is successfully passed without the blinking of an eye, and a pulsing bass to keep it all together – it’s just solid with a perfect hint of the month.
Then Cars Not Leaving , we all know this is one of the best tracks released ever you don’t even need to let me finish, but since seeing it live I knew it was going to be a big one, the lyric “there’s a church at the end of the path/where the sign reads beware of the god” has stayed with me since then as nothing less than pure genius, but nothing with this big a sound – the sax is back, the disco synths are spiralling and Fred MacPherson is in the video, not to mention the dancing.
All That I Have is the silently most beautiful 6 (yes six) minutes Gabriel Bruce has come up with so far, it was previously floating around on a Daytrotter session and this is the enhanced heartwrenching edit. It strips back from the disco sound and is a simple romantic piano/vocal collaboration, the purest thing on the album that could easily have you in tears within the first 60 seconds – and then the backing vocals descend into cries too – it’s a cliche track delivered without the hint of a cliche and even if you absolutely hate it – which frankly, with a voice like that, no one will – that’s to be admired in itself.
Another new one – wahey- If Only In Words this time, from the off strength of that bass, it sounds like it’s going to spin into an electronic To The End – blur Baroque style masterpiece and it greatly succeeds at exactly that, it’s like the synths have been pulled from the unwilling hands of Chris Lowe mid best ballad writing mode, when you can transform sounds like that into this it’s no wonder people have started catching on.
Penultimately, Perfect Weather then, the horn intro is still the greatest intro since anything i can currently think of, and that hihat will have you at the very least tapping your feet while dramatically reanacting the EVERYTHIING, I PROMISED YOU EVERYTHING sequence in your best tortured broken voice in no time at all. The dance routine in the video at the hands of Jacob Permutter is worthy of it’s own paragraph, but we wont go into that .
The final track is Sermon On The Mount – with a similar feel to that of Fools Gold (Pyrite’s Song) with the baroque’y drum machine and Farfisa back in full swing the preaching torn up vocals overlay it effortlessly and it rounds up everything you could ever hope for in a debut – he is alive, that saviour, and his name is Gabriel Bruce.
In one short word this album is incredible. In a few more, I can’t even comprehend to you in words how absolutely brilliant I think this man is, I like a lot of music but this is genuinely and honestly the most original type I feel I’ve heard, it’s new in every dimension – the dancing is out of this world – and there you go. If you do one thing with the rest of your month, make it to go out and buy this album because I can genuinely say this man absolutely deserves every ounce of appreciation he can get, and damn does he write good music.
Love In Arms is out Monday, you’ve even got all day off to listen to your purchase, how considerate
or if you’re bursting at the seams try this nifty stream
vive le revolution.