It may be early days for singer-songwriter Gabriel Richards’s solo career, but this does not mean he isn’t already turning heads. Entering 2021 with a splash, Richards releases his debut single ‘Don’t You Go’. But, who is Gabriel Richards?
Hailing from the West Midlands, Stoke-on-Trent to be exact, this talented multi-instrumentalist has been immersed in music since a young age. From his first band performance at age 11 to his drumming with a major label signed band, Richards showed a passion and enthusiasm for music. He began his solo career in 2019 and has featured on Talk About Pop Music and GigSoup with ‘Don’t You Go’.
It’s not easy to describe Gabriel Richards’s ‘Don’t You Go’, but I will try. With the intimacy of folk-rock, etherealness of 80s pop and intensity of alternative rock, ‘Don’t You Go’ shows that Richards is not to be pigeon-holed. Plunging head-on into a hazy swirl of sound, the track carries you from smooth, flowing verses to the heartbreaking choruses. The combination of dynamic instrumentation with rich vocals makes a kaleidoscopic sonic experience; however, it is the prominence of individual elements that sends shivers down your spine.
Melodically, the moving guitars and drums are the foundation for a beautiful ballad, but it is the acoustic piano later in the track that adds a degree of haunting. As Richards elegantly traverses the rise and fall of the melody, his vocals have a soul-stirring quality. The cascading merging of hushed vocals with provocative instrumentation enhances a sense of otherworldliness in the dreamy song.
“The song tells the story of a journey through unattainable love. Changes that haven’t been taken and loves that have been lost. Empty hotel rooms set the scene. It’s not necessarily about me or anyone I know, it’s more about the journey of loss.” – Gabriel Richards on ‘Don’t You Go’.
Showcasing his eclecticism and innovativeness as an artist, ‘Don’t You Go’ has a languid dreaminess about it while exploring the poignant issues of “unattainable love”. Exposing a grittier, more gut-wrenching side of life, Richards takes on the painful fragility of a human spirit. Thing is, while there is delicate devastation in ‘Don’t You Go’, there is also an underlying sense of optimism, hopefulness and empowerment. Richards delves into the essence of the human soul with this moving ballad.