Gaba Gavi | The Things We Want to Hear (Creative Life)

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cd_gavi"Right Where You Left Me" has almost an amateurish sound to it, but this somehow makes it more endearing. It's a lost-love song that's worthy of repeated playing. Gavi's voice runs across familiar territory here, but it shows his adeptness at handling this type of vocal: heartfelt, hurt, and wanting happiness.

 

 

Gaba Gavi, a new face on the indie-pop circuit, is one you may want to watch for. His first CD, an EP entitled The Things We Want to Hear, shows a lot of promise for this Louisville, Ky., native. His soft, heartfelt songs have a quality to them that allow you to easily hear every nuance of every track. While the groundwork of the tracks may seem simplistic, it allows the listener to discern all melody, harmony, and rhythmic elements, including Gavi's earnest vocals.

Helping him on this endeavor is Rusted Root's Liz Berlin. She provides backing vocals and percussion and did a lion's share of the producing and recording in her Millvale, Pa.-based recording studio/performance venue, Mr. Small's Funhouse. Joining Gavi and Berlin on the EP is Andrew Vernon on keyboards and piano, Mike Spernazo on bass, and Matt Vucic on drums. And while I have to admit that this EP isn't the most amazing thing I've ever heard, it is a good, well-rounded collection of songs from someone who has a unique voice in this overcrowded industry.

The songs themselves offer a glimpse of what Gavi's live shows are probably like, as one can imagine that his sound is easily translatable from the disc to the stage. Starting off with "Anything but Show," the listener gets the impression that this will be a relaxing listen. It's sort of a groovy, couch-surfing song, if I may paint a picture for you. Following is "Distance of the Sun," a poppy little jaunt that allows Gavi's vocals a chance to stretch out, and offering a nice hook on which to hang the song. Third in the lineup is "Closer to Me," a fast-paced yet low-key number that sounds like it could fit into the soundtrack of a smart TV show—say, Grey's Anatomy. It feels as if it could be used effectively in a pivotal moment in the show the same way that Snow Patrol's "Chasing Cars" and Gomez's "How We Operate" were.

The fourth cut, "Right Where You Left Me," has almost an amateurish sound to it, but this somehow makes it more endearing. It's a lost-love song that's worthy of repeated playing. Gavi's voice runs across familiar territory here, but it shows his adeptness at handling this type of vocal: heartfelt, hurt, and wanting happiness.

Happiness shows up on the fifth track, "Sweet Words," a kind of a funky number that ends the disc on an upbeat note. The title of the disc is pulled from the lyrics, and it seems to speak to that love-lost character from the previous song, offering hope in a way.

This collection is a worthy first outing, and the potential for greatness lies within Gaba Gavi. He just needs to throw a little more confidence into his work and keep plugging away, and pretty soon, he just might wind up on that TV show soundtrack. B | Tyson Blanquart

RIYL: Cameron McGill, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Gomez, The Fray

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