fri 14/06/2024

Album: Gabriels - Angels & Queens, Part I | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Gabriels - Angels & Queens, Part I

Album: Gabriels - Angels & Queens, Part I

A mesmerising, superbly crafted debut album from the LA-based trio

Surprising twists and turns: Gabriels

Lauded by Elton John (who called their 2020 debut EP Love and Hate in a Different Time “probably one of the most seminal records I've heard in the last 10 years”), a show-stealing performance on Later… With Jools Holland in 2021, fêted at this year’s Glastonbury Festival. The inexorable rise of LA-based trio Gabriels – Jacob Lusk, Ryan Hope and Ari Balouzian – continues with the release of this mesmerising, superbly crafted debut album.

Produced by Grammy-winning Sounwave (Kendrick Lamar, Beyoncé), Angels & Queens, Part I (Part II will follow in March next year) is a collection of seven songs which take you on very different emotional journeys, with structures that take surprising twists and turns and redemptive codas that make your hair stand on end.

The album has you hooked from the beginning, as vocalist Lusk’s remarkable falsetto lights up the title track. The monstrous snare hits, hysterical strings, forceful horn stabs and hypnotically repeating piano lines of “Taboo” sounds like what might have ensued if J Dilla had chopped up a slice of Philly soul. It’s an album full of telling details, such as the horns surreptitiously sliding into the texture of “Remember Me”, the impressively vast wall of vocal harmonies which threatens to bring "Mama" crashing down, or the dramatic cutting between blocks of material which defines “The Blind”.

In “If You Only Knew”, Lusk adopts the role of his late godsister who lost her battle with addiction, a message from the other side which moves within the space of its four minutes from a doleful intro to a euphoric outro of pounding piano chords, churchy organ swells and Lusk’s fervent vocal soaring above it all.

From the unashamedly rhapsodic to the surprisingly tender, Angels & Queens, Part I touches the heart at every turn.


Listen to “Love and Hate in a Different Time”

From the unashamedly rhapsodic to the surprisingly tender, it touches the heart at every turn


Editor Rating: 
Average: 5 (1 vote)

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