New York-based experimental singer and composer Gabrielle Herbst, better known as GABI, is returning this fall with her sophomore album Empty Me. Born partially out of half-asleep keyboard improvisations in the middle of the night, Empty Me was fully realized with the help of friends and collaborators including Julie Byrne producer Eric Littman, harpist Marilu Donovan, and bass clarinetist Mara Mayer.
Lead single “Whole With You” gave a tantalizing taste of the record’s beautifully vaporous, fluttering sound, and today GABI has shared “Sleep,” which functions as a kind of statement of purpose for the entire project. “Couldn’t sleep/ I took a piece of bread/ A cold piece of bread/ I lit up my voice instead,” Herbst sings while glowing ambient noise and a muffled drumbeat slowly build over the song’s minimal, circling piano figure. “I sing to heal my head.”
“There was a period of time where I would wake up in the middle of the night and write songs,” Herbst explains in a press release. “I loved how quiet it was and it felt like I was the most alone I could be. I play drums on this track and it’s the first time I’ve ever done that. I recorded the drums in my producer’s tiny bedroom. This song really came to life with Marilu Donovan on harp, Mara Mayer on bass clarinet, co-producer Eric Littmann, and a synth contribution from Steve Hauschildt.” Listen below.
10/03 Brooklyn, NY @ The Park Chuch Co-Op ^
11/13 Los Angeles, CA @ Resident *
11/14 San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar *
11/16 Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room *
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 *
12/01 Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle *
12/03 Toronto, ON @ The Garrison *
12/04 Montreal, QC @ Bar Le Ritz PDB *
12/05 Boston, MA @ The Great Scott *
12/07 Washington, DC @ DC9 *
12/08 Brooklyn, NY @ The Park Chuch Co-Op *
^ Empty Me Record Release Show w/ Julianna Barwick & Foxes In Fiction
* w/ Mutual Benefit
Empty Me is out 10/5 via Double Double Whammy. Pre-order it here.