Gabrielle Herbst is not just a songwriter, she’s an honest-to-God composer. You can hear the distinction in the music Herbst makes as GABI, ornate and expansive avant-pop that overlaps with the operas and commissioned classical works she’s penned in the past.
Empty Me, her first GABI album since 2015 debut Sympathy, sees her switching from Daniel Lopatin’s Software label to Double Double Whammy, the one founded by members of LVL Up. But it has little to do with the scrappy indie rock Double Double Whammy specializes in. This is otherworldly stuff: ancient yet futuristic, orchestral yet minimal, floaty yet weighed down by heavy emotions. It exists in continuum with Kate Bush and Björk but hovers confidently into view on its own terms. With an impressive list of collaborators bringing her vision to life, Herbst sings each song like an epic poem, her soprano the audio equivalent of a ballet dancer pirouetting across the abyss.
Empty Me is out 10/5 on Double Double Whammy. Pre-order it here.