Gallant was one of the more significant revelations (for my ears, at least) of the month of May. I’ve thrown his track “Please? (Vignette)” onto at least five different playlists and I’d estimate my playcount of that one particular track is at least hovering near forty, bare minimum. That’s a lot of plays for a previously unknown artist…hell, it’s a lot of plays period when you consider how much music I have to go through. Normally I’m not devoting that kind of time, no matter how much I love it.
It’s difficult to pinpoint what drew me in so hard on Gallant’s sound, but if I was at gunpoint I would say it’s adaptability. “Please? (Vignette)” had this beautiful, buoyant quality that provided a dual listening experience. Depressed, rainy day, need to relax? Hone in on Gallant’s vocals. Looking for something for the summer, something smooth, or maybe even background noise for a little more…physical activity? All you’ve gotta do is melt into that wonderful production delivered by Felix Snow.
“If It Hurts” (also produced by Felix Snow) is a bit of a different animal. For starters, those of you in my age range (25-30) would recognize the guitar riff that opens the track (and ultimately the guitars throughout) from a hundred different pop rock bands of our high school years. I know it sounds like I’m saying the riff is generic, but that’s not the case. This track immediately invokes nostalgia. That riff is us, our youth, warts and all.
Lyrically, “If It Hurts” isn’t something you’ll likely find yourself singing to. It was incredibly difficult for me to pick out any lyrics; that said, Gallant’s melodies are as soothing as warm milk to an infant. Felix Snow’s production melds itself to Gallant’s vocals, with a lush adventure through the recesses of your mind. I’ve often wrote about how a track stamps a scene or a time in your life and years later when that track comes over the radio, you immediately see/smell/hear those sounds for all that time ago.
“If It Hurts” does that same trick, though with a different catalyst. It invokes familiar sounds, instead of familiar settings. You’ve never heard it before, but you’ve loved it for years.