Trying to make sense of the blinding Hollywood lights
Gabe James is a 20 year old alternative pop singer, born and raised in Colorado.
A master guitar player who writes and produces his own music, he recently moved to Los Angeles to pursue his music full time (with the occasional influencer party at a Hollywood Hills McMansion) and has been dedicating his time to focus on developing his sound. Influenced by the likes of Damien Rice, Chet Faker, John Mayer, Coldplay and The 1975, James’ songs dance delicately between poetic, singer-songwriter, folk music and infectious, dance-worthy alt-pop.
His latest EP, CITY OF LOST ANGELS, represents the musician’s first couple weeks living in LA as an 18-year-old artist stepping out of his hometown in the foothills of Colorado to pursue his dreams. Like a fish out of water, trying to make sense of the blinding Hollywood lights, the songwriter explains, “I was in an entirely new environment that I wasn’t used to yet. The EP cover shot shows me being swept in by the waves as if I had just been out at sea and came onto the shores of California for the first time. It also ties in symbolically with the lyrics in the chorus on the focus track song off the EP, GRACIE.”
Marking a pivotal moment in his life and documenting his journey as an artist and young adult, we witness his sound developing from singer-songwriter focused records, to adding more full-scale production and drums. He confides, “Moving out to California made me want the production in my songs to feel big, though I still felt somewhat attached to that singer-songwriter style of music I was so accustomed to growing up. I think this EP captures a little bit of both sides of what I used to listen to growing up and what I listen to now.”
The plucky, fast-paced “FLICKER” narrates being led on by a girl back in high school and what that felt like at the time. Featuring warm, all-encompassing vocals and building into a passionate, crashing chorus, the raw, honest feel results in a powerful single.
Focus track “GRACIE” is sure to melt even the coldest of hearts. The heartfelt, longing song is about trying to win over a girl that you’ve fallen in love with.
Then there is “COLORADO,” a song about leaving town and having to say goodbye to your loved ones. With folky guitars and echoing pianos, the track emits a melancholy feel, while his velvet vocals demonstrate his impressive range.
“LONG TIME” is a song that was heavily John Mayer inspired. Displaying Mayer-esque melodic guitars and harmonies, this is a feel-good anthem and a totally infectious earworm.
Having built a dedicated and loyal fanbase, Gabe James has accumulated over a million streams on Spotify thus far. With much more music up his sleeve, the rest of 2021 and ahead looks promising for this young artist, as he propels forward with the release of CITY OF LOST ANGELS.