Music Review: Josh Gabriel Presents: Winter Kills
In a musical era where reproduction and mimicry are so common place, it's refreshing to find original work that stands tall above so many other acts. The stunning release of Josh Gabriel and Meredith Cal's work under the guise of Winter Kills is welcomed with open arms to an industry where astonishingly mediocre is considered highly acceptable.
The introduction to Winter Kills was made back in 2009 with the release of the club phenomenon Deep Down. Since then, the team have been in the studio, not only working on their own debut artist album but also contributing to Armin Van Buuren's last artist album with the track Take A Moment.
The first thing that is apparent as the album takes hold is the innovation and unrestricted musical freedom that the duo have been given to create this brilliant piece of art. The slow pick up of the first track, Tomorrow, to the steady beat of the latest single, Hot As Hades, and onto the eerie Deep Down. The album is a journey that loops back on itself and, at the same time, keeps soldiering forwards.
Meredith Cal's voice across all the tracks is haunting and enticing. The songstress has found her niche in the market full of pretty faces and dainty voices. Her singing ability is genuine and refreshing. Her talent undeniable. When this is coupled with Josh Gabriel's 25 odd year career, there is something undeniably right about the release.
Surprisingly, they even include a cover version of I'll Stand By You. It's been modernized since the original 1994 release by The Pretenders. Cal doesn't try to replicate the sound of Chrissie Hynde's voice. She finds her own footing in the track and makes it her own. The two version cannot be compared as they are so unique and different that to say one is like the other or one is better than the other is to do it no justice.
Over the 13 tracks of diverse musical creativity, it is difficult to find stand out tracks as the pair have worked hard on each and every track. The success of the album will make that apparent to anyone who takes the chance and listens all the way through the album.
As a debut, this is the album that many artists want to release. Showcasing an awe inspiring talent and commitment to the perpetuation of the music industry by providing a legacy that will live on, even if Gabriel and Cal choose not to continue with the Winter Kills project.
Josh Gabriel Presents: Winter Kills is out now through Armada Music