Album Review: Gabrielle Aplin – Light Up The Dark



Gabrielle Aplin has finally released her second album Light Up The Dark, an album that shows her ability to conform to many different genres and experiment more within her music. Aplin showcases that she can push her vocals to the extreme and this still pays off. The electric guitar and piano elements have been thrown in to this album allowing her to make the  record more upbeat and loud.

The album kicks off with Light Up The Dark, a song that Aplin says ‘sort of came about by accident.’ This song at the start of the album is full of electric guitars, piano and the beautiful harmonization that Aplin is known for. The lyrics are dark and the juxtaposition of the rocky sounds allow for an amazing opening song.

This album is completely different to anything we have heard from Aplin; with songs putting her in line with incredible singers such as Florence And The Machine and Joni Mitchell. Skeleton is an upbeat track telling the story Aplin always tries to achieve within her lyrics. Again we hear the piano alongside the guitar and the exquisite lyrics. ‘There’s nothing I’m your skeleton/ Your heart is gone/You’re acting like it doesn’t even matter/ like I don’t even matter.’ This story is expressing the anger towards a person whilst not being your typical angry song when it’s coincided with the instrumental.

Throughout this album it is evident Aplin has left English Rain behind but still knows what she is good at. Sweet Nothing is a prime example of this. Aplin produced the album with producer and singer Luke Potashnick who wrote Sweet Nothing and gave it to Aplin. This song shows how well Luke and Aplin work together, with Luke’s production not over-shadowing Aplin’s vocals.

Aplin has said her favourite song on this album is Heavy Heart, one of the most stripped back tracks on the record. Aplin’s vocals resonate those that we heard from English Rain, but the instrumental allows an atmosphere to be created within the song whilst keeping it simple. Shallow Love is the same, with Aplin really showing her influences from Joni Mitchell. In this song, she is just as reliant on her strong vocals with her unique range and sound.

After the sweet echoes of Aplin’s voice from Shallow Love we then hear the absolutely superb song Anybody Out There. This song is the best lyrically on this album with it being a catchy and energetic song, but the lyrics keeping Aplin’s lyrical style throughout. ‘Followed by a ghost/ Stepping on your shadow/ Is there anybody out there/ Is there anybody out there/ I need you now.’

This album is packed with songs that will ultimately sell and recordings that have really allowed Aplin to step out of her comfort zone. Gabrielle Aplin should be proud of what she has achieved. For such a wait, she has proved it was so worth the wait.

Rachel Allman


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