WPGM Recommends: GAYLE – A Study Of The Human Experience Volume One (EP Review)

GAYLE – real name Taylor Gayle Rutherford – is an exciting new American indie pop artist, singer and songwriter, with pop-rock, pop-punk and power pop sensibilities.

Born in Dallas, Texas, Gayle started singing when she was 7 and eventually moved to Nashville, Tennessee to pursue a musical career. After releasing several self-produced singles, she was discovered by former American Idol judge and Arthouse music publisher Kara DioGuardi and was signed to Atlantic Records.

Her breakthrough single “ABCDEFU”, which has received over 500,000,000 streams on Spotify alone, is a super fun-relatable song, which many of the 2000s kids relate to when it comes to relationships and everything in between. The song has a backstory about her ex-boyfriend, who she thought was perfect and had no flaws, with Gayle constantly blaming herself for their break up.

In an interview with DJ Shai on Easy Rock Manila, she said, “I wrote that song because I was trying so hard to be the nice, respectful ex-girlfriend, even though it was affecting me negatively […] The question is, ‘why am I being so nice to someone who took advantage of me completely?’ and expressing my anger about it“.

Released on August 13, 2021, by Atlantic and Arthouse Records, “ABCDEFU” was co-written by Gayle, Sara Davis, and David Pittenger, and produced by Pete Nappi. It is the lead single from her debut EP A Study Of The Human Experience Volume One.

“Luv Starved” is the opening track of Gayle’s A Study Of The Human Experience Volume One EP. This track is as relatable as “ABCDEFU”. Sometimes, as misunderstood teenagers, we can be love starved in whatever way possible, and as insanely as that sounds, when you begin to listen to the song, you get to understand.

The song still shows Gayle’s great voice and it also has a very fun and free spirited attitude, as of the melody of the song. She wildly express her emotions throughout this song, which shows her free spirit, and gives the song more of a coming of age kind of vibe. This song is what it says it is – perfect with its pop-ness, and I have no word as to how amazed at how exact she is.

“Are you actually my type or do I just need a bite? Yeah // Sick of being taken advantage by shitty guys (Oh, oh) // Tell me if you’re one of them, I’m losin’ my mind (Oh, oh) // Are you feedin’ me affection or just a bunch of lies? // Is it me? Is it you? I don’t really got a clue // I don’t got much love but I might give it all to you”

Gayle’s second single, which also features as the third track on the EP, “Ur Just Horny”, is a straightforward song that gives off 2000s-era edgy pop punk, and the rhythm, the lyrics and vocals are incredible. The videography is simple but cool. FYI, the sound of real instruments in contemporary music is coming back, and on this track, Gayle drives that comeback forward.

“Kiddie Pool” is the last song of the EP, and it blew me right out of my mind. Closing out the EP with this song is perfect, and it is a legitimate contender for ‘Song of the Year’ for me so far. I did not expect “Kiddie Pool” to be so gloomy but yet, not so sad at the same time. It carries so much healing, it gives me an acoustic numbness in a good way, this song is art and magic, it deserves more acknowledgment.

On this A Study Of The Human Experience Volume One EP, Gayle puts forth many different sounds, with “Kiddie Pool” being a great example – the song has many different vocal passages that are remarkably well recorded. “Ur So Horny is also another example of this variety.

I love how Gayle started the EP with something more poppy, while still having those emotions in the lyrics and then, she ends it with a full-on emotional song.

Generally speaking, this EP flows very smoothly. In terms of the styles she experimented with in the EP, the artists she featured also play a big part in this. On “e-z” for example, GAYLE sounded like a young UPSAHL, and as I was listening, I could not tell who was singing what part.

The EP as a whole is a very colourful offering that may seem very sad and randomly set in order, but it is very impressive, and there are reoccurring themes such as love and heartbreak, no matter how random it may seem.

GAYLE’s A Study Of The Human Experience Volume One is out now via Atlantic Records, listen to it below and stream it elsewhere here.

Words by Onika Sileku

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