It’s been a bit since we’ve heard from the experimental composer Gabrielle Herbst, who records under the name GABI. Her debut album, Sympathy, came out back in 2015 on Daniel Lopatin’s now-defunct Software label, and she’s spent the years since soul-searching and trying to land on a specific sound.
GABI’s just announced her sophomore album, Empty Me — it’ll come out on Double Double Whammy in October — and she worked on it with producer Eric Littman and a bevy of instrumentalists that include harpist Marilu Donovan, bass clarinetist Mara Mayer, and former Emeralds member Steve Hauschildt on synths.
The album’s first single, “Whole With You,” sounds entirely singular though, a beautifully rendered piece that blends warm piano and prickling strings and Herbst’s airy voice into an intoxicating mix. “I wanted to be whole with you,” she sings throughout. “I wrote ‘Whole With You’ out of lots of fragments that I slowly pieced together into a song, which I think is aligned with its meaning — this idea of trying to find yourself through missing pieces you’ve left along the way, trying to become whole,” Herbst told The Fader. “This song, in a lot of ways, is about accepting your own inadequacies, insecurities and messiness; it’s about becoming a whole person for yourself and others, and accepting yourself as you are.”
The song comes with a video directed by Kenna Hynes, who captures Herbst like a painting. Watch and listen below.
03 “Until The End”
04 “Wild Sunflowers”
05 “Whole With You”
06 “Let’s Not Exist”
07 “Boom Boom Kiki”
09 “Stranded In Heathrow”
12 “Falling For A Stranger”
Empty Me is out 10/5 via Double Double Whammy. Pre-order it here.