Gabriel LCR moves with confidence in his own lane on new single ‘Dead or Alive’
Having impressed us in 2021 with his singles ‘Angel’ and ‘Gravity’, Gabriel LCR has returned with his latest stunning effort ‘Dead or Alive’. The song pits Gabriel on an uncertain trajectory that is only alleviated by that special someone he wishes to enter the journey of love with. ‘Dead or Alive’ is naturally hard to pin down stylistically, with Gabriel drawing from myriad of influences to craft his own carefully constructed, yet freeing sound.
On ‘Dead or Alive’, Gabriel LCR relays to the listener his complex struggles with love and relationships by recognising the turbulence that came with a past love that unearthed his own ride-or-die no holds barred nature. The Melbourne artist’s distinct and distinguishable his sound is present on ‘Dead or Alive’, with his natural sombre inflection and precise, considered lyrics always taking precedence over the safer routes others invariably take when approaching their flow and production. Gabriel’s healing vocals allow the listener to embrace the mood and feeling of the track, with his lyrics speaking to the intoxicating allure of this relationship that pushed him farther outside of his comfort zone than anything he’d experienced up until that point, “Tryna move away but I’m trapped by your aura”.
Production-wise, ‘Dead or Alive’ displays Gabriel’s knack for prioritising atmosphere to evoke a mood. Whilst rooted in alternative hip-hop and R&B sounds, Gabriel’s use of building ephemeral vocals, rattling drums, fleeting synths and trickling instrumentals gives definition to the song to the point where even without his evocative lyrics, you’d be able to effectively empathise with the emotions being put forward. As the track crescendos, Gabriel and fellow producer Moses Carr elect to include an acoustic riff by guitarist Blockchain that elicits the sonic aesthetic of a small town in the Old West being draped in the cover of night by sundown. The song conjures images pertinent to this freedom that was found in the American wilderness centuries ago, images of leaving one’s life behind whilst you still have nothing to lose in the hope of finding something better. It’s indicative of a relationship that brings out both the best and worst of Gabriel.
Photo 1 by @jaismith_
Mix & Master by @mattxirofioravanti
Words by Matthew Badrov