Nashville has its world-famous country music and has also garnered a solid rep for indie rock. However, one of the city’s best kept secrets is its resilient bedroom pop scene—a group of talented songwriters working extra hard for their sound to be heard in the noisy room of Music City. With her sophomore EP To Remind Me of Home, Gatlin shares a little slice of the bedroom pop magic being created in today’s Nashville.
The album is all about working through the challenges of exiting the teenage years and entering your 20’s. However, the record’s themes—heartache, feelings of disconnection, and reconciling our past with our future—are ageless struggles allowing almost any listener to relate to the songs.
While thematically Gatlin may be trying to figure it all out, she has already become adept at presenting her feelings in a way that draws you in. Just like on her first EP, Sugarcoated, To Remind Me of Home feels completely vulnerable yet totally relatable. Gatlin creates the musical equivalent of an emotional late-night conversation between best friends.
Although the songs may be connected by feelings, the album pulls together some diverse sounds. Clinging to the memories of a fleeting romance, “What If I Love You,” conceals its wistful reflections with its up-tempo synth beat and Gatlin’s dreamy vocals. It also has a throwback feel, sparking thoughts of Robyn’s classic Body Talk days.
In comparison, “Whenever He Asks,” feels like more modern pop offerings as her slightly echoing vocals complement the synth music. This is not to say that any of the singer’s angst over a toxic relationship is lost, it just gives the beat room to hook the listener. Next, the album gets pop rock vibes on “Sugarcoated.” Full of guitar and a big drum rhythm, Gatlin’s saccharine vocals drift above the high energy track. It has a unique sound to it making it hard to compare to other things—a bit more rock than Taylor Swift, a little too Taylor Swift to be Paramore. No matter what, it’s a song that should be playing loud and on repeat for fans of many genres.
The album arguably saves the best for last with the stripped down, “Hospital.” The first three tracks serve up a healthy dose of introspection but have brightness thanks to their musical backing. On “Hospital,” Gatlin lets us have the full blast of alt-pop melancholy. The song perfectly captures the challenges of finding our place while battling inherent feelings of self-doubt. A true bedroom pop song, it puts Gatlin’s vocals on full display, while the gentle acoustic guitar and glowing synth melody feels like we’re inside the artist’s head as she nears a breakdown—or simply trying to find enough emotional peace to sleep for the night.
There’s no doubt that To Remind Me of Home is designed to catch your attention with its solid pop music hooks and smooth vocals. However, Gatlin makes it special by tackling relatable issues through personal, honest songwriting.
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Featured Artist Photo of Gatlin By Luke Rogers