Divorce – Gye (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Most artists create a stage persona for themselves, an identity apart from their real-life world, a character to escape into that adds mystery to their musical avatar. But few create whole alternative timelines and build new worlds for that character to inhabit. But that is the lengths to which Gye is prepared to go.

Divorce is just one part of that alternate story, the telling of his side of a less than amicable divorce, the financial settlement and comment on the lack of trust in the relationship. But, as well as coming from somewhere else in the multi-verse, it is also totally relatable and reflects, echos and holds a mirror up to any number of real-world separations and celebrity splits.

It is a blend of the traditional and the forward-thinking, acoustic guitars cascade over hip-hop beats, it talks of age-old relationship issues but does so in the language of the here-and-now. And it is such blending of the familiar and the fresh, the past and the present, the acoustic and the digital, that makes Gye an important player in the development of a new form of pop music.

Pop music itself often seems to get stuck in musical deadends and cul-du-sacs dictated by whatever fad and fashion happen to be passing through. It is to alt-pop artists, such as Gye, that we must look to for alternate routes and ways for breaking such mainstream deadlocks. Here, it is delicate and deft, picked guitars that mix and merge, clash and collide with urban beats and the language of the street that create a place where opposites not only attract but make beautiful music together.

More and more artists are abandoning the restraints of working in defined generic boundaries and the music made by people like Gye is the result. There is a core sound built around electronica, alt-pop, acoustica and hip-hop and R&B, and it is the fact that Gye allows himself the room to play with such a broad spectrum of genres that sets him apart from the usual musical offerings. He just picks whatever sounds and styles feel right, bringing together sonic ideas that aren’t usually found in the same place and perhaps rather than inventing new genres along the way, at least showing the limitations of such narrow-minded approaches.

Gye in general and Divorce, in particular, is the perfect example of where the modern composer is today. Untethered by genre and musical tribalism, aided by modern tools and technology and making the music which feels right for them rather than trying to ride whichever musical zeitgeist the cool kids are currently locked into.

Cool, relatable and out of this world. Literally.

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