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Devon Gabriella’s debut EP “From the Next Room” is an introspective and intimate musical tapestry

Official cover art for Devon Gabriella’s debut EP, “From the Next Room.” The EP was released on Feb. 23. PUBLIC DOMAIN

Have you ever listened to a body of work that feels like stepping into a world where music paints emotions like brushstrokes on a canvas? Singer-songwriter Devon Gabriella released her debut extended play (EP) titled “From the Next Room” on Feb. 23, blending introspective lyrics and acoustic pop melodies. The EP conceptualizes abstract thoughts and feelings into raw relatability and vibrant musical magnetism, inviting listeners on a journey through adulthood and romance.

The 22-year-old singer came to prominence after releasing her single “a little hope never hurt” in June 2022, which has accumulated more than three million Spotify streams as of Feb. 28. Following her sporadic musical releases over the last two years, Gabriella is now making her mark with her debut EP, showcasing her introspective lyricism and intimate musical sound.

The EP, comprising seven tracks, begins with “older,” an acoustic guitar-driven ballad that delves into the nuances of growing up and confronting the challenges and responsibilities that come with it. Coming to terms with growing older is no easy feat for Gabriella, as she reflects on its inevitability. In the hook, she discloses, “I didn’t ask to get older / I was pushed through the door and / Air has started getting colder / I’ve been fightin’ to get back in,” and continues questioning time’s fast-paced momentum.

Arguably one of the most emotionally raw and relatable tracks on the EP is “afraid of heights,” which explores the fear of the unknown, such as taking risks and confronting pivotal moments that are supposed to define one’s life. The track features Gabriella’s head voice accompanying gentle guitar strumming, creating a musical intimacy that she channels throughout the EP. 

In the chorus, she poignantly expresses a fear of life’s uncertainties: “If it goes up then it’ll come down,” conveying a reluctance to embrace the highs of life before being forced to experience the lows. She instead must stay “staying in between the lines,” before concluding that she is “afraid of heights.”

Contrary to the ballad-esque tone established in the EP’s earlier tracks, Gabriella introduces a sonic shift with “gone for good” and “less like me.” Both songs feature lively drums and rhythmic guitar playing. 

In “gone for good,” Gabriella employs vivid imagery and metaphors of a dream or memory where a romantic relationship was vibrant and alive. Yet, she reveals that it was merely a fleeting moment, using bright vocals to capitalize on the joy of the memory. 

On the other hand, “less like me” continues to reflect on the aftermath of a romantic relationship, but she acknowledges her own flaws while the EP weaves in the theme of personal growth throughout all seven tracks. Each song underscores that theme along with the universal struggle of being more than one’s imperfections and embracing maturity, contributing to the EP’s cohesion. The track “less like me” blends introspective lyricism in previous tracks.

Gabriella’s insecurities take center stage in the song “talking in your sleep,” which explores the fear of loneliness in a romantic relationship. The track also features the EP title, with the song’s final line being, “I heard you, leavin’ from the next room.” In the electric guitar-driven track, she overhears her partner talking in their sleep, which exposes any unfiltered and unspoken feelings about their relationship to Gabriella, which results in her increased insecurities. This emotional turmoil is evident throughout the song as she questions her relationship with her partner and fears she will be alone before capturing her nuanced emotional insecurities in “how could you?” 

The track begins with Gabriella asking the poignant question, and in the chorus, she continues to question how this person could “fall for someone new.” As one of the EP’s weaker tracks that explores surface-level lyricism, she describes her insecurities that stem from her partner lying in their relationship during the bridge, “Still call me, say you’re sorry / You can’t be serious you wanna be friends? / Don’t kiss then go missin’ / But you do.” 

In the final track titled “easy,” Gabriella reflects on a past relationship, grappling with the difficulty of realizing that she wasn’t as special to someone as they were to her. The song acts as a time capsule, capturing the emotions from that particular period in her life. She sings, “What’s keepin’ you is killing me / But don’t I make it look easy? / You come and go just as you please / And I make it too easy.”

In its entirety, Gabriella’s debut EP “From the Next Room” is a poignant journey through the highs and lows of adulthood and romance, encapsulating the fear of growing up as fervent as ever. The body of work invites listeners on a powerfully relatable emotional rollercoaster that embraces the authentic and raw human experience.

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About the Contributor
Clare Gehlich
Clare Gehlich, Assistant Arts & Culture Editor
Clare is the Assistant Arts and Culture Editor for The Statesman and a senior journalism major with a minor in political science. Since transferring to Stony Brook University in 2022, she has written for both Herald Community Newspapers and WSHU Public Radio.
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