Gabrielle Smith's upcoming album, Beast on Beast (11/2), is her first under the name Gabby's World. It's also her first release since 2016's EP Year of the Rabbit, after which, according to a press release, Smith took an extended hiatus to "reevaluate many of her values and ideas about art." Today, she emerges with "Winter Withdraw," the second single and what she calls the "overture" to the record.
In a note about the song which you can read in full below, Gabby explains that it's about retreating into privacy in the face of trauma, but finding that refuge to be tainted, too. Over four, simmering minutes, the electric rock track builds into a satisfying, stadium-sized finale that finds Smith pleading "Will you please provide a cloudy feeling I can ride?" It is a yearning that I hope will stay with me through the forthcoming cold months.
"'Winter Withdraw' is an overture to the whole Beast on Beast album, encapsulating a lot of the themes and problems from the rest of the record, and laying out the trajectory of the whole album's story in a single song. The album is about feelings of isolation that arise from life in the public eye, and the way that publicness can push a person into a self-protective shell that makes even private relationships difficult. "Winter Withdraw" is about that urge to withdraw into a private shell after a traumatic experience in public view, but then finding that the private place you've carved out for yourself as a refuge is no longer a comfortable hiding place either. It's about how publicness can corrupt even the most private aspects ourselves that we try to keep locked away from the judgment of the outside world.
Musically, the way that we arranged this song with my bandmates is one of my favorite moments we've had as a band. Originally, the song was a kind of Joanna Newsom Have One On Me style acoustic guitar song, built mostly around the lyrics and melody but with very little dynamics built into it. Jack Greenleaf had the idea to make it a mini-rock opera and change the chord progression in the last chorus to make it as huge of a stadium-rock finale as it possibly could be. The band was really important in making the song feel like it was growing and building for the whole four minutes so that those last moments of the song feel so huge. I think it's our best moment as a band playing and communicating together and that it came out really well on the album too!"
Upcoming Tour Dates:
11/15 - Brooklyn, NY @ Elsewhere (Zone One) *
12/28 – Asbury Park, NJ @ Asbury Lanes ^
12/29 - Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda's ^ - SOLD OUT
12/30 - Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda's ^
12/31 - Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda's ^
* w/ Lexie & Emily Yacina
^ w/ Japanese Breakfast