by Sam Robinson
After spending years bunkering down in studios producing artists like Lecrae and Andy Mineo, and producing (in my opinion) the best Reach Records album to date, Trip Lee’s Rise, GAWVI has hit the spotlight as a signed artist on Reach Records. Rather than hitting us with a full-length album, the Atlanta artist is drip-feeding his debut through two EPs. The first, is the colourful four-track Lost in Hue.
This project is a big corner turn for Reach, leaving staple hip-hop at the door, and moving into EDM, dance, and pop territory. It’s a bold move, but no doubt one aimed to reach (pun not intended) a whole new audience with the hope of the gospel. Let’s be clear – if anyone’s going to launch the label into new sonic landscapes, it’s GAWVI.
The EP opens with single Late Nights, a song about tackling negative thoughts. Starting on a slow grind with club synths and Bieber-esque vocals – which is actually GAWVI pitched up a little – it steadily builds into a strong Summer jam. Retaining elements of 90s house, it’s a pump-up anthem that wouldn’t sound out of place on mainstream radio. Keeping things interesting, GAWVI puts the brakes on towards the end of the track, adds some flute, trap, and finishes boldly. Late Nights exemplifies the producer’s craft – and the natural luminescence beneath his music.
Anyone unsure whether a message of hope might be lost amongst the big beats will be assured by You Are (feat. Stan Johnson). It’s a straight-up pop song that speaks of Jesus’ relentless love. Johnson’s vocals match the truly positive vibe, and shows a maturity to GAWVI’s songwriting – he’s restrained enough to let a song play out without having to melt your face with massive beats and sounds. It’s a slow burner of a track, but sticks to the colourful and positive pallette heard across the EP.
Continuing to feature strong, up-and-coming vocal talent, GAWVI enlists LA artist Jordan Powers on Out My Mind. It’s very reminiscent of the latter half of St. Lucia’s Elevate, an 80s-ish party track with recorder and strong pulsing beats. In my opinion it’s the strongest track on the EP, particularly in the way in which it shifts in structure and instrumentation throughout.
Closing out the EP is In the Water – another pop club track brimming with brightness. It’s smooth with some great bass and tinkering synths, and a killer drop. It’s got enough crossover potential to warrant head turns throughout the industry.
GAWVI’s Lost in Hue is a strong debut, and will make you salivate for what’s to come. It’s exciting, positive music which is landing in a very dark world. There is no doubt, it’s GAWVI season. Bring on EP 2. 3.75/5
Lost in Hue by GAWVI will release digitally this Friday, 29th July. Watch this space for an interview with GAWVI about the EP in the coming weeks.