For someone who is as quarantined as the rest of us, Gabe seems to get an awful lot done. First the I Want More video with Kai Brewster as the Silverback Colony. (See below.) It’s an 11-minute song and video. It is miraculously calm for someone who is known for his powerful bellow to the rafters voice in 4ontheFloor. The video is the night sky and the calm is soothing yet, as the name indicates, imploring. Next, is his upcoming solo album Darker Still. It too is subtle and dark without being depressing. His voice is measured and the measurement gives it a new power.
The music, while not all written in the last nine months, is a perfect soundtrack for 2020. It is a departure from his work on 4ontheFloor, although the extension in new directions is not new. But the subdued approach has clearly had time to marinate during the pandemic and the result hits the perfect note for those of us who have also been marinating, and continue to cook. As Gabe says, the music isn’t about heartbreak or pain or braving on the North Pole, it’s about an experience that isn’t pleasant and just keeps going, long past what we thought we could handle.
We talked about life. How much we miss live music and running into friends. How hard the pandemic is for musicians and folks in the hospitality. How difficult it is to wait for things to change when we have lots our faith in how the federal government is handling the pandemic and when we see what’s happening around us. We remembered past shows and we talked about Gabe’s music for children. We talked about how much we missed using social skills and how excited we are to see – on a real stage – what new skills and sounds local musicians have picked up in 2020.