Band of the Day

2014.11.14

Gabriel Garzon Montano

Slinky, bittersweet ballads from a multi-talented multi-instrumentalist
Take me to your stream, show me the meaning of my dream.
lyrics from Naeja

Introducing singer, composer, multi-instrumentalist and native New Yorker Gabriel Garzón-Montano. Born to a Colombian father and a French mother, Gabriel spent his early years mastering the violin, guitar, and drums, before turning to the piano and bass guitar to better complete his compositions. By the time he graduated from Purchase College's Conservatory of Music, the foundations for his debut EP, Bishouné: Alma del Huila, were already laid.

A heartfelt tribute to the role of family, love, and the City's unavoidable lifestyle, Bishouné: Alma del Huila collects six songs performed and recorded at Henry Hirsch's famed Waterfront Studios. Renovated from an old church, Henry's home provided Gabriel with the right tools and environs needed to realize his demos to the songs included on this EP.

Every clap, breath, harmony, and note was performed by Gabriel direct to 2" tape through a Helios console in real time. Aside from a dip into Pro Tools to loop the 25 overdubs that build the claps & stomps of "6 8" and drum programming on “Me Alone” and “Pour Maman”, computers had little place in Gabriel's world. Not to imply Bishouné is a product of vintage fetishism; rather, the songs are a humble and urgent bout of self-expression guided by the natural limitations of a solo performer.

Gabriel's compositions revel in such unabashed personhood. "Everything Is Everything" captures the carefree nature of young summers in stark contrast to the inevitable maturity and subservience to life's rat race in "Keep On Running". Those thick grooves give way to slinky, bittersweet ballads and psychotropic-addled burners in "Naeja" and "Me Alone", the latter decorated with tongue-in-cheek lyricism. "Pour Maman" translates Bobby Elliot's lyrics into a stirring treatise on motherhood, love, and loss.