Joe Goddard Gabriel
Gabriel is the new EP from Hot Chip/The 2 Bears member Joe Goddard and it’s filled with some smooth house tunes. Goddard’s 2009 release Harvest Festival (you know, the one with all the fruit track titles) was a nice picture of what the synth-player/percussionist/vocalist was capable of doing on his own. And though that album wasn’t anything to go crazy about, it really showed Goddard’s skills as a producer and gave insight on how important he is to the contribution of Hot Chip’s overall sound. Despite Gabriel housing only four tracks, there’s a quite a lot it has to offer, and it’s a testament to Goddard’s genius.
The title track starts off with a gospel choir, a cappella bit that later gets excellently cut up for use as a backdrop to the rest of the song. Cue more cut up vocals and a chilled 4/4 house beat and the song starts to progress with impeccable sleekness. Valentina contributes an extremely strong and effective vocal performance, fitting nicely with the laid back dance shuffle that the song projects. She sings of a relationship that she’s ending and croons, “you should beg forgiveness of me Gabriel,” turning the dance track into one of emotional empowerment and release. At the second chorus, synths come in and match the drums, bringing an unmistakable One Night Stand era Hot Chip vibe. The track is composed extremely well and even the chiming arpeggio heard throughout the latter half of the track seems tasteful and appropriate. The track’s Dub version is a more abrasive take on the original, creating a harder, dancier tune by utilizing laser sounds and cutting up Valentina’s vocals in a much more disoriented, texture-focused manner.
The other two tracks that make up Gabriel are excellent in their own right as well. "All I Know" starts off fairly simple but builds tremendously across its nine minute time span. Goddard’s familiar vocals (and vocal effects) are in play here and are as soulful as ever. Bubbly synths soon penetrate and carry an aura of ecstasy for the rest of the track as pads and a tambourine elevate the mood even further. "Jump," on the other hand, is a much more persistent track. Staying true to its steady beat, layers of cut-up vocals and playful synths reinforce why the track is titled as it is. All the tracks, including “Jump,” on Gabriel are pretty diverse but they’re all bound by the signature sound that Goddard brings. And considering everything he’s been up to recently, it’s surprising to hear such solid tunes get churned out in such little time. All in all, Gabriel is a solid EP and it’s another release Joe Goddard should be extremely proud of.
Listen to “Gabriel” here.
1. Gabriel (featuring Valentina)
2. All I Know
4. Gabriel (Dub) [featuring Valentina]