Review and interview by Jamie Canavan
Main image: Guitar Gabby performing in DC, source @GuitarGabby on Instagram
Guitar Gabby, ‘Mama Txlip’ of the Txlips Band, gave us just what we needed when she dropped her first solo album Musicology this June. If you don’t know who Gabriella “Guitar Gabby” Loganis, go and follow her Instagram right now. She’s the lime green guitar wielding badass who, aside from her music, has been a powerful voice to follow regarding the current Black Lives Matter movement.
I’m sitting on a socially distanced train coming from Dublin to Galway and decided the best way that I could take you through this record was to take it track by track followed by Q&A with Gabby herself.
The album starts off with ‘Sick of Love.’ Gabby’s voice is smooth and quiet against a hard bassline. ‘I swear this time you won’t get the best of me’ she sings and I’m somehow both relaxed and empowered – a theme that will continue throughout the record.
Next Gabby revives her 2017 single ‘Hold on a Little Less Tighter.’ This song has a country blues feel fit for a front porch session. Electric guitar riffs blend gorgeously with the light string instruments and Gabby’s voice. ‘I love your insanity, just ticking away, keep your eyes on me…no regrets, not today.’ Hell yes.
Then comes ‘When I’m Alone’ – a fitting meta title for what is Gabby playing her signature guitar solo. I’m a lyrics-oriented person and I never found myself wanting lyrics to kick on at any point. The perfect song if you need to tune out your thoughts for a few minutes.
Suddenly we get Gabby’s voice alone acapella at the start of ‘Matters of the Heart.’ Wowowow. You can hear what sounds like wind or traffic in the background and I feel like she’s talking right to me. Absolutely stunning voice with an empowering message.
The album is broken up with the aptly titled ‘COVID-19 interlude to 2020.’ Another instrumental song that never left me wanting words.
Boom – in comes the full Txlips band for ‘the Gunslinger.’ This band. I don’t know how they can play so smoothly, so relaxing to the ears, while keeping the punk fire. It’s a lullaby that wakes you up. The Gunslinger gets louder and faster and we move into ‘Appled Wine’ another instrumental that’s more intense and slow. Another good one for a self-meditation, breathing to forget your worries.
The two following songs ‘the Dead Pool’ and ‘N****s’ will be ones that I will have on repeat. The Dead Pool is DOPE.
‘I am not the one.
Understand where I’m coming from
speaking the words that I feel
‘cause if you fight for the right to die, you got it bad.
You’re living in the dead pool.’
N****s is the anthem for anyone who’s had it with f*** boys. It starts off calling out the men who’ve manipulated, gaslit, and used women. It ends with a powerful spoken word poem dedicated to the women listening ‘raise our voices high, we never get even, and we elevate and fly.’ It’s the perfect end to the album and ties it all together. I will make it my mission to hear this song live.
Four live Txlips song: ‘The Lost One,’ ‘Your Addictions in this Parallel Life,’ ‘Another Tear,’ and ‘Die Today,’ and a live rendition of ‘the Dead Pool’ are added as bonus singles. These live versions sound amazing and brought me back to when I saw the Txlips live at the 2019 Loud Women Festival. I was an instant fan then and after hearing Gabby’s solo record, I cannot wait until the 31st of July when the full Txlips Prison of Life album will be dropping to the public. Watch this space for another review!
TxLips Band, LLC. ‘is a dynamic group of women whose mission is to challenge the boundaries set for women in the music industry as well as to inspire girls and women worldwide to be an unstoppable force in the music industry. This international touring collective has contributed to pushing the status quo of what the world says women can do.’ Gabby and the Txlips have been donating all streaming profits to Black Lives Matter allied organisations and collectives. Get to streaming!
A Q&A with Gabby herself:
Take me through the recording process for ‘Matters of the Heart’. What’s that that we’re hearing in the background?
So for this song I wanted the listener to hear the emotions I felt when writing this song. I was literally sitting on the floor under a window in my room when I recorded the vocals. When my engineer mixed it I thought to myself how much I wanted to still have that element of the wind that was going behind me while I was recording. So I told my engineer and he literally sat outside one evening with a mic and just got a lot of audio and we added it in. Nothing too profound but that’s how that happened!
What do you think is one major change you’d like to see in the music industry in the coming years?
I’d love to see more diversity and inclusion on a marketing front. I think there is a lot happening and I think that white entities could do better at working in conjunction with (not using or appropriating) POC to better diversify and ensure our voices are heard and our faces are seen.
You do a lot of activist work to end rape culture, to empower womxn professionally, and for the BLM movement, could you tell us about any upcoming events, fundraisers etc. that you’d like people to check out or support?
Yes! I am leading a self management workshop for teens on July 18th in partnership with Girls Rock Camp Roanoke. The goal is to expose kids to the idea of self management and the business of music from an early age to help inspire them to take their career into their own hands.
Has your musical process changed over the years?
Yes definitely. For example I learned how to record myself at home more than before and I am proud to say that I recorded 99% of my album at home alone. Mostly due to COVID starting and removing the chance to be in studios with real people but it was an excellent experience being able to learn a new skill that will enable me to do things more independent at home.
Does your green guitar have a name?
It does! Her name is Gracie (after my cat) You can follow her IG on @guitargracie lol yes she has her own IG and she is VERY active.
Anything else you’d like the Loud Women followers to know?
Just want to remind everyone that Pussy is Power! Live in that. Money and Pussy make the world go round.