‘Dear Happy’, out today on through AWAL and Never Fade Records, is the latest album from Gabrielle Aplin. A look at her life compiled while touring and travelling all over the world the past few years, it’s an uplifting and empowering album of 14 tracks, exploring her state of mind during this time.
The album is danceworthy and uptempo, with lead track ‘Until The Sun Comes Up’ the perfect opening, with a breathy Aplin inviting the listener to accompany her on a journey of discovery. Second track ‘Invisible’, feels familiar although it had not been released as a single, and contains a certain middle eastern vibe. Song three, ‘Just One Of Those Days’, is contemplative and somewhat serious, as Aplin shares with us that life isn’t always perfect, that things don’t always go the way she wants – “guess it’s just one of those days when grace is far away”.
Despite the world-music influences, ‘Dear Happy’ is distinctly Gabrielle Aplin, with her peppy pop vocal style bringing a smile to the listener’s face. Track 5, ‘Strange’ is a slight deviation from form with a funky opening, but normality is soon restored and we’re back to pop, albeit with a soulful edge.
Collaborating with Nina Nesbitt, Aplin has released a new version of her 2016 hit, ‘Miss You’, which comes in as the penultimate track on the album. It’s bright and although it’s already dancefloor material, it feels like a prime remix candidate, and we hope someone takes us up on this idea. Aplin also collaborates on ‘Losing Me’, track 8, this time with JP Cooper, and the song has already proven a hit with fans, seeing 22 million streams on Spotify alone since its release in September.
‘Dear Happy’ has been a long time coming – it’s been 5 years since Aplin’s second album, ‘Light Up The Dark’, was released. But it’s been worth the wait – there’s a lot been poured into this and you feel that Aplin is not just 5 years older but also that much wiser. Leaving the title track to the very end initially feels like a strange choice, but it works. Just as ‘Until The Sun Comes Up’ takes us on a journey, ‘Dear Happy’ assures us that we can be perfectly happy where we are, wherever that might be.
Gabrielle Aplin is set to tour ‘Dear Happy’ with 12 dates across the UK, starting on March 4 at Glasgow’s Saint Luke’s and the Winged Ox, before wending her way around the country, finishing up at SWX, Bristol, on March 18. See here for tickets and further information.
‘Dear Happy’ by Gabrielle Aplin, is out today through AWAL and Never Fade Records. Stream and download here.