REVIEW: Gabriels’ New EP, ‘Angels & Queens’ – Unleashes Seduction and Harmony, One Track at a Time

Music is not created equal. 

I absolutely love it when a song has the power of words to remove me from myself and transport me to an unexpected space. The UK-LA band Gabriels debut EP, Angels & Queen, released via Atlas Artists/Parlophone does just that. It isn’t just one song in particular; amazingly enough, it is all twenty-six tracks.

Unleashing music majesty with dual discs, Gabriels are an incredibly unique band with a BRIT Award nomination for International Group. Not only does this trio slice through the clouds with their music, Gabriels has a signature sound that is impossible to negate. Writing their own rules, this glamorous three-piece band consisting of choir director Jacob Lusk, Ryan Hope, and Ari Balouzian pushes the creative envelope one note at a time.

Burning with love, sexual tension, anger, and loss, listening to the Angels & Queens EP is equivalent to a private show in some smoke-filled club, with tiny round tables and an insignificant candle ready to call it a night. Your brow glows with sweat, and pretty soon, you find yourself in some trance, listening and connecting to the rhythm, beat, and sexy mood of each melody. Your foot taps, your hands clap; every track reflects your experiences and social issues. You are emotionally plummeted by the confident swagger of their superstar frontman, Jacob Lusk. This is why the Gods created music.

Gabriels should be as contagious as their new EP. Listening to Angels & Queens, it is clear that this brash trio worked skillfully to create a cohesion that honors every decade of music, every chord and lyric.

With slick undertones of Jazz, the Nina Simone influence is loud and clear. Jacob’s voice is dynamic with an undeniable charm. He sings with reverence and an exquisite sadness with an affecting dash of inspiration and anarchy.

Daring as can be, Angels & Queens has a repetitive texture of bluegrass, gospel, salacious funk, and country with a dollop of disco. With lyrics like “can’t unbreak a heart.” “When you’re close to me, it’s hard to breathe,” and “Something in my soul ain’t right,” you know you are witnessing music royalty. 

The music industry needs to make more room for Gabriels. This dual track is a force of nature in its own way. Jacob, Ari, and Ryan sink their teeth into every song. The rendition of “The Way We Were” by Barbara Streisand via We Will Remember is “Mastercard Priceless.” The heartache expressed…you become consumed with it. Though you’re okay with it, a part of you has an unforgiving determination to track down the one responsible for Jacob’s heartache in this track and put a hurtin’ on them.

Angels & Queens is an unhinged exploration for every music lover on a silver platter. Sometimes there is the style of a funeral procession strolling through the streets of the French Quarter in NOLA. In other moments, Angels & Queens is a true legacy of unconditional love, doo-wop, and old-school hip-hop in a small church stuffed with black folks battle ready to sing and pray and pray some more.

With close to a million monthly listeners on Spotify, Angels & Queens is sinister, lustful, and an appetite for inspiration.

Always remember….Angels Sing, Queens Reign, and Gabriels Rule.

Featured Photo Credit: Renee Parkhurst