Jacob Lusk, Ryan Hope & Ari Balouzian; an acclaimed gospel singer and choir director, an established film director and a classically trained musician and soundtrack artist. This is the trio that fate brought together and now make up Gabriels.
Their debut EP ‘Love & Hate In A Different Time’ comprises five songs that sound instantly of another era without faltering into throwback territory. True masters of story-telling, their timeless take on vintage soul, new R&B and just a hint of ultra-contemporary altpop have seen them become firm favourites of Gilles Peterson, Off White’s Virgil Abloh, Benji B, Annie Mac, Elton John... the list goes on.
The lead track and new single, ‘Love & Hate In A Different Time’, showcases their sound perfectly. A soul-stirring song with elements of funk and that joyous gospel influence too. Jacob has one of those terrifically cavernous deliveries and understands the power of when to adopt restraint and when to let rip. It’s raw, show-stopping and combines to form a magical few minutes of cinematic sound, unlike anything else out there today.
In the song’s long-form video, directed by band member and British born musician Ryan Hope (himself a celebrated music video director), we’re taken through a history of the dancefloor in archive footage, culminating in Jacob singing Billie Holliday’s Strange Fruit to a rapt audience during a Black Lives Matter protest in LA last year. It’s an engrossing, moving watch and an evocative listen.
The rest of the EP stands tall with its lead track, shoulder to shoulder. Experimental flourishes, sultry beats and jazzy polyrhythms. Intoxicating stuff, it’s music that is hard not to like. Simply riveting and a hugely promising introduction to an already accomplished new act.