Gabriel Daniel Explores Self-Identity with New EP ‘definiens’
The two-track record houses an alternative rock sound
Bengaluru/Chandigarh alt-rock artist Gabriel Daniel made his mark on India’s independent music scene after releasing his 2018 debut album conflicting. The musician tells us that he’s learned a lot from making that record and since then has expanded his music taste. Now, the versatile singer-songwriter is out with his newest offering, the two-track EP definiens.
According to the musician, of late he’s been writing songs in pairs. He says, “This [EP] would be the first of those, it wasn’t really a conscious decision I made.” The tracks on definiens have helped Daniel understand where his worth lies as well as bring resolve and discomfort for him. “I love writing in a way that does a push-and-pull within me,” says the artist.
The opening track, “A Lack Thereof” has a beautiful build with acoustic guitar and piano parts while Daniel’s crafty vocal harmonies run through it. The song gradually opens up with a melodic guitar line and eventually goes heavy with distortion. “It wrestles with the feeling of lacking in one’s life, and goes from doubt to hope to dismissal,” says Daniel. The EP closer, “A Thought Complete” is more melancholic and Daniel uses double vocal takes to create beautifully arranged harmonies. Towards the end of the song we hear a range of emotions over pulsating drums as Daniel sings, “Finally I can see.” He says, “The song speaks of how we’re incomplete, of how we’re still journeying, and of how we ought to give ourselves grace through that journey.”
The musician explains that the EP’s title means “something that defines.” Daniel did the bulk of the recording at his home while drums were tracked by New Delhi’s Suyash Gabriel at his own house. “It was honestly really rewarding to be able to play everything and sit and ideate endlessly and then get to work on the mix,” he says. The musician got the songs mastered at Pune’s Gray Spark Audio by Ronak Runwal.
Daniel has spent most of the lockdown putting the finishing touches to the EP which has kept him busy. Next, the singer-songwriter is plotting another two-track EP. “Doesn’t seem like live music will be a thing in the coming times, but I’d have loved to play a solid tour,” he says. Apart from music, Daniel has been working on his BA Hons in Psychology. “I never went to college, and I’m glad I waited till I realized I actually want to study.”
Stream ‘definiens’ below: