It seems Gabrahm Vitek was hardly resistant to the band of gypsies that captured him in his sleep. Feeding him nothing but soul, Mr. Vitek has been munchin’ on some funky jazz with some jivy cats. Marginally different from anything I remember hearing at Christopher’s Pizza in 2007, I can assure you that soul-tapped and face-lifted, Mr. Vitek has seen the light.
His latest full length album, Soular Flares, flows as smooth as the lively licks it encases. Gabe has put some serious concentration into making an album that transitions flawlessly. Intentionally starting things out on a train ride to the heart of the record, he breaks things up with three instrumental interludes, showcasing his dive into compositional experimentation as he swims around sounds like Radiohead’s MK1 and Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors.
Sandwiching these Radiohead-esque interludes are effortlessly catchy songs like “Your Turn”, “It’s On”, “You Got Fire” and “No Look Dancing”. (Check out the music video for "No Look Dancing" here). Up-beat and full of soul, you can expect to hear some vibrant horn solos, powerhouse backup vocals, and classic Gabrahm Vitek piano riffs. A delightfully interesting match-up, Gabe’s poppy vocals (at times Ben Folds, at times Jamie Cullum, at times straight Vitek) have a way of jumping around on a bed of jazzy instrumentation, yielding some very fresh originality.
Gabe dresses up his thoughts on love, women, and coming of age through his contagiously danceable beats - however, he doesn’t forget to slow things down with intimate and personal tracks like “Needle + Thread”. Despite this healthy combination, it’s obvious that “No Look Dancing” is the core of the album – allowing listeners to kick off their shoes and let go of the reins.
Soular Flares feels like one of those records where one lightbulb led one artist deep into a cave of invention – remaining reclusive until the music baby was ready to be born. Lucky for us, Gabrahm Vitek will be releasing this gem, polished and perfected, October 22nd at The Basement. Not to mention he has roped in a solid A-team of Nashville’s finest rhythm and groove players. I’ll see you there.--Mackenzie Grosser