Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Gabe Lehrer

          With an explorative style, Tucson, Arizona high-schoolers Gabe Lehrer (Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Steel Drums) and Ryan Kemmer (Drum Kit and Percussion) come together to blend various styles of music and entrance their audience with indie-folk styled melodies.  Having met in 2014, the duo have just released their debut album, Cuban Chevy, a compilation of simple, yet interesting folk-esque tunes and experimental, instrumental and otherwise varied tracks that delve into genres like reggae and funk.

          The first single, originally released back in late 2015, "Let It Fly" presents the listeners with a taste of the main style that Gabe Lehrer employs throughout much of the first half of the album.  It's melodic and stripped down acoustic guitar intro, accompanied by light percussion set the tone for the rest of the bittersweet-feeling song.  Once Lehrer's vocals come in, it becomes immediately apparent what the primary draw of the duo is.  His intimate voice and provocative lyrics appeal to a wide audience with phrases like "People like to talk about forever...But you and I can just let it fly".  After fading away into static amidst the sounds of a piano, the song comes back ever more stripped down, Lehrer's voice more honest than before and the percussion even more subtle.  The song fades away with ethereal vocals intertwined with static and melancholy instrumentation.

          One of the more experimental songs on Cuban Chevy, "Transience" offers us more variety as we near the end of the album.  Beginning with an interesting combination of synths, keyboards, and light acoustic guitar, the song noticeably enters a realm of musical possibility not previously explored for Lehrer.  The profound, yet brief lyrics punctuate the theme of the song as Kemmer launches in on his drum kit.  The sounds of more traditional hard rock become prevalent as a thick baseline punctuates the fluttering synths and driving drums.  With the rest of the song solely instrumental, Lehrer and Kemmer are free to let their instruments reign free and build a soundscape that is both traditional in its bass, drums, and guitar, yet explorative in its heavy use of synths and keyboards.  The track fades out to the sound of barking dogs and electric guitar, leaving the listener with an almost eerie feeling.

          Gabe Lehrer's largely folk-based style, punctuated by more eclectic and uncommon genres, has allowed him to build a strong debut album, Cuban Chevy.  With intimate and sometimes ethereal vocals, as well as alternative instrumental stylings, it's hard to ignore his unique sound.  I look forward to his future releases, but in the meantime, check out his music at BandCamp and head over to his website.

Thank you for visiting my blog and reading this review.  Please feel free to comment on this article about whatever you feel like (suggestions, what you think of the band, etc...).  If you would like to contact me for any reason, check out the 'Contact' tab above.  Have a nice day and rock on!

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