Gabby Young & Other Animals
The Band Called Out for More
(Gift of the Gab Records)
On The Band Called Out for More (henceforth TBCO, because it’s a long title and a long band name; two for two Gabby Young & Other Animals in creating something an audience has to stretch to wrap around), Gabby deploys her vintage throwback vocals along side a brass section, an accordion, sweeping pianos, smooth jazz drums, and a plethora of sounds that fit her strong and diverse vocal style. The sound on TBCO isn’t our modern pop sound, but closer to what Esperanza Spalding attempts in her approach to jazz. Gabby Young is fun and powerful, ululating like an opera goddess, then sensually stripping down her voice to a deep soprano.
Nostalgia and playing dress up are integral parts of TBCO. Young can lead a big band serious single (“In Your Head,” which is all kinds of Big Easy jazz/swing) and throw away what would be a silly song for any other artist (“Goldfish Bowl,” the one song it’s possibly embarrassing to admit to liking). Her hushed soprano is provocative and enticing, building with the instrumental climax until we get the full-throated warbling.
This is an album that will oddly get overlooked because there are similar artists doing similar things, (Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine), but Gabby Young is better and has a more interesting vocal range. There’s a lot of potential for TBCO to blow up, and then songs that completely fade and wash out (looking at “Goldfish Bowl”), but even the potential is forceful, early listens to Gabby Young inspired her band members to suggest a new genre of music, circus swing. This particular movement, the big band throwback, multi-instrumental usage, deserves recognition, and Young has the moxie to bring that out.