A lot of artists write about what it means to be in your early twenties. Yet, none quite manage it with the vivid, evocative imagery with which Gatlin does. Each track feels like an overspill of emotion, pouring out into distinct vignettes of love, heartbreak and uncertainty. Anything can change at any moment when you’re at this stage in life, but anything is possible. Gatlin toes the line between fear and breathless possibility with grace and shattering intimacy.
‘What If I Love You’ opens the EP with the admittance that the tales we know about love are far from the truth. It’s euphoric, yet simultaneously a punch to the gut. The alt-pop track maintains some of the breeziness of summer, yet Gatlin’s falsetto plunges into a whirlpool of desperate longing and heartache. Despite that underlying heaviness, it’s the perfect soundtrack for a dramatic drive: think wind in your hair, sunglasses on, lost in thought as you hurtle along.
Gatlin continues to lean into that darkness on ‘Whenever He Asks’, propelled by driving percussion and unabashed vulnerability. It’s a meditation on self-worth told with an earnestness most artists would shy away from but Gatlin revels in the visceral, painful detail. That fearlessness invites you in closer — you experience every treacherous moment with the 22 year-old.
Whilst the lyrics remain sombre, ‘Sugarcoated’ introduces a more bubbling sonic moment. It leans more towards anthemic indie-rock than the dark pop sounds of the first half of the EP, showcasing a different side of Gatlin’s vocals. It serves as another vibrant snapshot in her grainy, sepia-toned narrative, but one that is uprooted once again by the time ‘Hospital’ rolls around.
The final track on the EP is arguably Gatlin’s most inward-looking. ‘Hospital’ is a tender account of isolation and precarious mental health that hits home after the last year. Ending the EP with a laughing through the sadness voicemail clip seems fitting — ‘To Remind Me Of Home’ interweaves a deep intimacy with buoyant pop. It’s in that fervent vulnerability that Gatlin hooks you — try walking away without feeling like you’ve been with her every step of the way on this journey.
Haiku Review: Gatlin’s alt pop soars, Dark and deep yet euphoric, Some of her best yet.
Listen to To Remind Me Of Home on Spotify, or wherever you consume music.