German-born and raised, Canadian educated—at least when it comes to his songwriting—and currently New York based Gert Taberner released in September 2016 a three-song, folk rock/pop EP titled Fallen. His project is an attempt to compensate for what he feels modern-day interpersonal relationships lack: intimacy. The emotions touched upon in “Fallen”, “Places”, and “In Need” are varied: yearning for intimacy, hope that it will be achieved, and a sense of disillusionment that it ever will happen. In short, the feelings of pretty much anyone about anything that is beyond their grasp, which makes this EP quite approachable.
Taberner is quite earnest and honest in his music; there is no sense of irony or even apathy, despite the disillusionment the artist confesses to feeling. This actually makes this EP very relatable to anyone who is clear-headed about what is going on in the world today but maintains the hope that things can change for the better. The hopes and dreams, almost innocent in the straightforward way they are expressed, come through clearly, making the experience of listening to Fallen quite poignant.
There are only three tracks on this EP, which may be why there doesn’t seem to be much variety on Fallen. However, the great part is that if you love one, you will love all tracks. The vocals and guitar in the lead single and title track “Fallen” seem, at time, to be dancing around each other, with the simple melody underlining the unique, clear, and almost exaggerated enunciation by Tarbener. At first, it seems like it’s all about him and his guitar, but the rest of the band slips in so delicately that it takes a second to realise what’s going on; by the end of the track, all layers have built up towards a satisfying ending, clearly painting a romantic scene where two individuals come to their senses and realise that they should be together. Made to stir many a sensitive chord in our hearts, the track brings together the disillusionment of a broken heart and the yearning of one still hoping for love.
“Places” is the most radio-friendly number of the set, what with its pop-oriented, R&B, funk flavours. It is also the track that allows us to appreciate the full range of Taberner’s vocals. It’s a very smooth track and upbeat despite the serious matters it discusses. “In Need” is the most desperate-sounding track on the EP and the one with the most sing-along quality to it. And yet Taberner manages to not completely tip into darkness, clinging, sometimes almost frantically, to hope.
Short but sweet, this EP is well worth a listen by listeners interested in a modern and approachable folk rock/poop sound. More information about Taberner is available on his Facebook page, and his EP can be streamed on SoundCloud.