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Gabi Garbutt - The Creation of Birds

  by Steev Burgess

published: 3 / 7 / 2023

Gabi Garbutt - The Creation of Birds
Label: Daemon TV
Format: CD


Impressive new EP/mini-album from experimental artist Gabi Garbutt which comes with a zine and takes her in a new direction

Since leaving the mainstream and setting up her own label Daemon TV, Du Blonde has, along with her own releases, put out a clutch of cassette albums by other bands, complete with colourful zines to accompany them. The latest addition is Gabi Garbutt’s new E.P ‘The Creation of Birds,’ released on CD with an accompanying zine featuring lyrics, photos and illustrations. EPs for label bands are often released to bridge the gap between albums, perhaps introducing a taste of what’s to come. The view from this bridge is quite spectacular with four new tracks showing the development of Gabi as a musician, songwriter and composer, a banging opener written and performed with Beth Jeans Haughton/Du Blonde and a look back over the shoulder on two of Gabi's demos. The opener 'Panic' is described by Gabi as being the chaotic feeling of being caught up in panic or anxiety but has been used here to fuel a catchy pop/punk rocker with the two voices of Gabi and Beth duetting and overlaying each other so beautifully it was released as a single unto itself. Turning the pages of the colourful zine put together by Gabi, the next track is 'Stun Like a Deadly Flower', seeing the singer move onto piano and synthesisers to great effect, with Chris Brambley contributing the atmospheric synth bed on which the song dances. Nick Cave once described his songs as children who wouldn’t play with the other songs, while Gabi observes some of the songs she’s penned as deadly flowers born of the heart, screaming at the roadside, something also illustrated in the zine. There’s a part of the song where Oliver Jones plays an overlapping drum beat for a moment or two, musically illustrating a fluttering heart, that is genius. Next comes 'All the Magic', perhaps the stand-out track for me, which is a paean to female Surrealist artists and writers Leonora Carrington and Remedios Varo, both an influence on Gabi of late, as their work finally moves out of the male shadows of the Surrealist movement. The bass line dances this song along, with Gabi’s keys meshing beautifully with Jimi Scandal’s mastery of the guitar and pedals as Gabi sings of the parallel process of art, cooking a kind of alchemy. 'Unquiet Mind' ventures into new territory for Gabi, with something of which I have not heard the like. While the lyrical refrain references her song 'I’ll Do Anything' from her first album with the Illuminations, 'The Discredited Language of Angels', this is a new sound, influenced more perhaps by John Congleton, who produced Ezra Furman’s 'All of Us Flames' album, with its rougher edged sound. Gabi’s brother Leo, producer of the record, plays synth drums and bass, while Ted Mitchell, Illumination and Jazz aficionado, comes to the fore here, setting the parameters of the tune with sax and flute with Gabi on piano. The whole thing creates a more rasping tone, rather like a New Orleans funeral jazz band. 'Satellite Gazing' is next up, the last of the brand new songs with Gabi's recent, more Berlin Bowie influenced sound and in some ways, subject matter, which combine to create a most up to date observation. The writer stares up at the night sky looking for the romantic and eternal site of a comet scheduled to pass but instead, her eyes happen upon a trail of Starlink satellites instead. The final two tracks are demo's but are in no way throwaway tracks. Gabi Garbutt is like Leonard Cohen in so much as she often has more than one set of lyrics for a particular tune, and 'Ravens and Angels' is one such song. This original lyric and melody has been sung at acoustic gigs, but in this version we hear Dan Fatel’s (Illuminations, Real(s) CuT) production giving the tune something of a Kraut rock feel and with an entirely different lyric to the one previously released, looking at the lot of William Blake and life's non conformists. The EP ends with 'The Ballad of Jim Henson'. Anyone who knows Gabi will know of her love of The Muppets whom Henson created. (I hitched a ride with the band to their first out of London gig with The Libertines and Muppets videos were played all the way). I sense they are a salve to the traumas of schooldays as well as pre-gig nerves and this is a sweet tribute to its underlining themes of song, dance and community in chaos. The songs are illustrated with a colour booklet, giving insights into each song, the title of the EP and the ethos of Daemon TV as a label. This is an absolute bargain at £7 and I predict, like others in this series, this package will become a collectors' item in no time. Purchase the E.P from Daemon T.V website: https://www.daemontv.com/collections/gabi-garbutt/products/gabi-garbutt-the-creation-of-birds-limited-edition-cd-zine-duo-pre-order

Track Listing:-
1 Gabi Garbutt & Du Blonde - Panic (feat. Du Blonde)
2 Stun Like a Deadly Flower
3 All The Magic
4 Unquiet Mind
5 Satellite Gazing

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