- 11 Mar 20
With her fresh synth-pop and piano ballad fusion, Gabrielle Aplin delivers a magical performance.
For a performer to have the ability to command the intrigue of an entire audience, holding us in the palm of a hand, suspended in anticipation between purposeful pauses. But Gabrielle Aplin does it, and she does it magnificently.
As an avid fan since 2016, I was curious to see this new era of Aplin's music. With the recent release of her new album Dear Happy and its widely contrasting array of genres ranging from piano ballads to groovy, synth-driven pop, I wasn't entirely sure what I was in for.
Striding on stage in her bright pink flare pants to an uproar of applause and new feel-good anthem 'Until the Sun Comes Up', the energy was overwhelming, and I knew I was in for a great time. Aplin is radient, it's obvious she loves what she does, and it's this passion that carries throughout the entire performance. We're rocketed into the rollercoatser of an evening, with the range of both slower acoustic as well as full production songs being surprisingly cohesive.
We get glimpses into each song before its onset, generally in the form of short stories pulled from pointed memories Aplin laughs over as she chats with us. "I learnt about this little art form, this philosophy, called Kinsugi,' she explains as a precursor to her bouncy track 'Kinsugi'.
"It’s about filling up our little breakages with gold and making them a part of our story. About finding the beauty in broken things."
These moments of connection pierce the entire performance. We're eased into drifting, piano ballad "Waking up Slow', which Aplin describes as "an invitation to choose not to worry, even if just for these three minutes".
There's a dreamy sort of enchantment to the entire atmosphere of the show. Watching Aplin immerse herself in her words and melodies is truly beautiful. She explains how writing songs is her favorte thing in the world, something she feels fully comfortable in, and even when that comfort dwindles as her writing process becomes more arranged, it's still what she comes back to. 'My Mistake' -- another piano ballad -- describes an experience she had with this interesting dynamic in her life.
The pace picks up again with a performance of 'Losing Me', a duet originally between Aplin and JP Cooper, but with a bit of a twist this time as instead, Aplin invites out Alfie Hudson-Taylor, half of Irish band Hudson Taylor."I’ve had many a night in this room because of you." Aplin gushes. The two sing the piece together, albeit with a few false starts due to giggles.
The audience takes a bit to warm up, but by the time we've rocked through the groovy bass lines of 'Strange' and Aplin's album's titular song 'Dear Happy' with it's soft chords and piercing emtion painted between ever pause, the room is swimming in hypnotic ambiance, and the wrod claps and sways along eith every note.
As the set drew to a close, Gabrielle started into 'Miss You', an old fan favorite off her 2016 EP, released again on her latest album and oincidently, the first song I ever heard of hers and fell in love with. Wandering out the theatre in a dreamy, warm state, it's without a doubt that Gabrielle Aplin is truly one performer not to miss.
See more photos of the evening here.