With his debut album/EP 'Here,' Gabriel Olin is winning over fans of passionate, inspired songwriting and the classic rock sound. The Northern California-born recording artist brings a wealth of enthusiasm and astonishing talent to his songs, redefining what it means to be an "indie artist." More than just a singer and songwriter who single-handedly composes, sings and plays most (if not all) of the instruments on his songs, Olin is a new kind of recording artist. "I take the term 'recording artist' very literally," he says. "The song is most important, and the album is the medium in which it is expressed in it's most idealized form, as the painter has his (or her) canvas and the novelist his book." Pushed and challenged by the unforgettable bands that influenced him, Olin has created an impressive work of art. Captivation and obsession with the Beatles heavily inspired his songwriting. "The Beatles did not create background music," says Olin. "They had an eclectic approach to writing and recording music. It's very rich." Not only has Olin adopted this varied approach on 'Here,' but strains of the majestic groove of Led Zeppelin come through as well, as does the expansive sound and acerbic commentary of Pink Floyd. "My dream is to have someone feel the way I feel when I listen to 'Abbey Road' or 'Dark Side of the Moon,' which is a kind of wonder and rapture." The deep meaning behind every word and note on 'Here' and the obsessive desire to ensure that every song is well recorded result in an impressive assortment of tracks. New details pop out at each successive listening. The five song EP has a classic rock vibe that feels new at the same time. It is exciting to identify Olin's various musical influences and the skill involved, yet it is a natural synthesis. This music is from the heart. Featured on 'Here' is "Someday," a song that can be appreciated on different levels. At live shows, the Led Zeppelin inspired groove always gets the crowd moving to the beat. It has an infectious, catchy tune, but hidden behind this attractive presentation is profound lyrical meaning. When he sings, "You know a man is climbing up you know a man wants it all/He says he can't get any higher until after the fall," Olin expresses a man's constant struggle between ambition and frustration, which is both universal and timeless. Despite it's seemingly unwavering cynicism, the song has a feeling of exuberance and self-effacing humor that allows for the possibility of an underlying hope. The title song "Here" is a breezy, shiny, jangle-guitar ballad, which Olin states is "about being separated from the person you love." "Here" is that sweet ache of wanting to reach out and hold on to someone close who is far away, enhanced by a simple sounding but sophisticated Beatlesque arrangement. Following "Someday" on the album, this tender, moving song shows the variety of Olin's musical style, yet a wider sensibility that ties the album together, and an ability to express poetically issues that touch our daily lives. Thoughtful, evocative lyrics, memorable hooks and subtle musical details are constant throughout 'Here,' from the lost-love rocker "I'll Be With You" to the dramatic, Pink Floyd-tinged metaphysical musings of "Riversong." To Gabriel Olin, inspiration is both a talent and a responsibility. As he remarks, "I think my songs are my greatest gift, but I need to share them or they become a burden," and he advises others to do the same. "If you have something to offer, something to say, never give up."
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