Artist: Gap Dream
Album: Shine Your Light
Label: Burger Records
Gap Dream, a.k.a. Gabriel Fulvimar, is the prize pony is the Burger Records stable. Fulvimar released his debut album 58th St. Fingers as a cassette on the Fullerton, CA label in early 2012. Since then, he has shared a single, courtesy of Suicide Squeeze, and two tracks in anticipation of the mid-November release of Shine Your Light. And, most importantly, if you buy into bios, he has uprooted himself from Ohio in search of better vibes in California. Shine Your Light was recorded in the Burger Records storage unit, where Fulvimar’s surroundings of used CDs and LPs helped him craft a synth-heavy record that sounds a lot like some of the records his recording gear was probably resting on top of.
There is something instantly likeable about the album’s lead-off title track, as the electronic keyboard swirls around the speakers to fill the listener with a warm, fuzzy feeling. The lyrics are cheesy but positive, and there are enough flourishes here to give the feeling of a full band in action, despite Fulvimar’s one-man band set-up. This title track sets the bar high for a record filled with incredibly catchy songs, all carefully crafted and brimming with pleasure-principle danceability. Gap Dream revisits the shine-y theme with a romantic ditty later on called “Shine Your Love”, another upbeat gem.
The album’s first official single, “Fantastic Sam,” however, is a soggy noodle of a track and a very odd choice for catching people’s attention. The lyrics are trivial (any song that focusses on boots that does not clearly state that they are “made for walking” is one boot song too many) and Fulvimar’s voice is monotone and underexploited. This may very well be the weakest track on the recording. Thankfully this track is sandwiched between more upbeat songs and thus does not detract from the album as a whole.
While Fulvimar often spends too much time rhyming to really provide much lyrical depth to his songs, he does show his lyric prowess on “Immediate Life Sentence”, one of the album’s stand-out tracks. This song examines the singer’s realization that he is with a “girl who wants to kill all [his] time”, and he determines after a night out with her and her friends, “drinking seven dollar beers all alone/while you cackle like a hen” that he’d rather “I don’t need to get laid that bad/I’ll just stay home and get high”. This is by far the album’s truest track, lyric-wise, and the humour and candor of it shows both Fulvimar’s youth and promise.
While the album is far from flawless, its initial weaknesses are eventually outweighed by the catchiness of the tracks and the way the album comes together as a whole. Here’s to hoping that Gap Dream becomes a Burger staple and that Fulvimar continues to listen to stacks of used LPs and filter the best of music past into Gap Dream’s future sound.