I am a sucker for female singer-songwriters for some reason, and it frustrates me that the best of them nowadays are younger than me. I’ve got a particular soft spot for Laura Marling, and I can barely imagine what it must be like to bear that success at the age at which she enjoyed it.
Home by Gabrielle Aplin came up as the iTunes Single of the Week, and I knew as soon as I heard it that I had yet again been undone, and outdone, by someone who is unbearably youthful.
What I think compels me to write about this, is that Gabrielle Aplin isn’t just young – she looks young too. I mean, remarkably childlike; and, without ever having seen her, my first reaction to Home was that her vocal is noticeably immature as well. Shaky, over-effected with vibrato and unconfident turns, and, increasingly throughout the song, pensively flat in the most authentic way on the words: “not”, “water”, “real”.
But everything else about the song is astoundingly mature. It’s fantastically well written, the recording is great, the guitar playing is strong, the lyrics flow like the lines of an established poet, and the video is well-shot. Yet Gabrielle herself projects the image of a typical teenager, with typical teenage emotions. Not someone who would think that by making the word “real” a quarter-tone flat, she would be projecting the perfect juxtaposition of callow youth, and emotive, sophisticated songwriting.
But that’s what it does. It’s young, simple, naïve, innocent production. It’s convincing.
Please enjoy this fantastic little song and video, whilst it’s still fresh.