There’s a new breed of indie artists that look at like a little differently. Amongst the new wave comes the unique sound of gnash, bringing together elements of hip-hop, pop, and more. That all culminates in his debut album we, which sees gnash introduce his sound with confidence and plenty of personality to spare.
While gnash’s sound is very unique, there’s still a familiarity to his sound. That’s both the result of his honest lyricism and the way his influences shaped his music. Perhaps most familiar is the chill and somber ‘t-shirt,’ which sounds like an acoustic blackbear track with gnash’s own anthemic input. ‘insane‘ follow with a vibe more akin to twenty one pilots - perhaps its the dejected yet anthemic nature of the song that really seems to capture the band’s sound and put a twist on it. All the same, gnash has plenty of tracks that feel entirely unique to him, like opening track ‘happy never after‘ which brings the record to a catchy, surprising, and even cute start as gnash’s hip-hop tendencies show a sweet infatuation in his lyrics.
we isn’t quite a celebration for the lost. Rather, we is more of a submission to the expectations of reality while trying to look on the bright side. Even with the overarching warmth that exists from song to song, there’s a certain sadness in the record that only peeks through at the most fragile moments. One of those moments is ‘i hate u, i love u,‘ where gnash and Olivia O’Brien switch off as they accept the harsh reality of moving on. Ben Abraham also brings a more weathered vibe to the otherwise sweet ‘dear insecurity‘ that adds a wonderful maturity to the album. ‘the broken hearts club‘ is about as depressed as the album gets, the very first verse sadly chanting: “I need emotion novocaine, I need a numbing of my brain / I need somethin' to take away the remains of your name.“ Rest assured, there are plenty of warmer songs, like ‘pajamas‘ and its celebration of youth and love, or the adorable love letter that is closing track ‘p.s.‘ gnash makes it clear that even in a world that’s as harsh as it is, it’s the little things that make it all worth it.
gnash’s unique sound makes his debut we a refreshing listen, and though it’s not yet perfect, it’s clear that there’s a lot of potential for him. we is a take on life that doesn’t lose all hope, even if it know it doesn’t quite have any. gnash takes what’s important to him and shows the audience that even when there seems to be no hope, its the small things that are important to you that’ll keep you going.
Favorite Tracks: the broken hearts club, dear insecurity, t-shirt
Least Favorite Track: feel better
Rating: 81 / 100
Stream or buy we on Apple Music, and follow our 2019 Playlist on Spotify: