If you’re lucky, at some point in your life you will come across music that you resonate with so deeply, you have to wonder whether it was written specifically for you. This is what Gabriel & Dresden’s music has been for me. And the Progressive Trance duo’s third album, “Remedy”, released on Anjunabeats, has been a continuation of this theme.
As soon as the Kickstarter to fund “Remedy” was announced, Trance lovers everywhere, myself included, have been anxiously awaiting its release. Last week, we were finally graced with its presence. After listening to it on repeat since it came out, it is safe to say that the new album holds as sacred a place in my heart as all their music that came before it.
“Remedy” is a continuation of the Gabriel & Dresden we heard on the 2017 album “Only Road” combined with everything we adored about their first self-titled album that was released in 2006. The arpeggiated, analog synth elements that are synonymous with Gabriel & Dresden’s classic sound provide a nostalgic, nu-wave backdrop that juxtaposes nicely against the modern Trance feel that they have woven throughout the album. It’s dancy, it’s emotional, and it will bring you to places you didn’t expect to go.
From the first time I heard the pair, who I discovered during one of my darkest hours, it became apparent that Gabriel & Dresden were the musicians I didn’t even realize I had been searching for my entire life. Their unique Melodic, Progressive Trance sound, which is often mixed with soul-piercing lyrics, touched me in a manner nothing else had. And the significant role their music has played in my own life’s journey has been a testament to the intense emotions underlying every single one of their tracks.
Once upon a time, in the midst of a warm, southern autumn, I fell in love at a music festival while Dave Dresden and Josh Gabriel played “Tracking Treasure Down” in the background. Months later, when that love faded, “As The Rush Comes” became the track that encapsulated my heartache. Now, during a time of great healing in my own life, “Remedy” has served as the antidote to that magnificent pain that comes with falling out of love, and it also sparked hope I could make peace with the past.
The very same week that Gabriel & Dresden released the first track from “Remedy”, “Coming on Strong”, I journeyed back to the music festival where I had been so lovesick while blissfully dancing to Gabriel & Dresden just one year earlier. Serendipitously, while at that festival I happened upon the person who had filled my heart with joy and then crushed it into a million pieces.
We made peace and buried the hatchet. But as I sat there face to face with the person who I both loved and loathed for hurting me, I was overwhelmed by a surge of emotions. Attempting to make sense of my feelings, Sub Teal’s beautifully haunting lyrics, “everything’s coming on strong” rang in my head as my heart seemed to pound out of my chest. It felt like Gabriel & Dresden were speaking directly to my soul.
What is so magical about “Remedy” is its ability to reach the listener on a personal level. These lyrics weren’t meant for me alone, but it felt as though they were. We have all experienced the pain that comes from losing someone we love, and we each understand regret. Gabriel & Dresden have tapped into these universal feelings, especially in the song “Will I Change”. Their signature emotionally charged sound mixed with chilling piano chords is intensified by the lyrics: I’m sorry I couldn’t be there for you, in the ways you needed me. The undertow of what went wrong was all that we could see. Will I change before it’s too late? Will I change?”
And just when you feel like the track has become almost too gut-wrenching to bear, it uplifts you by dropping an 80s beat that makes you want to get up and dance.
Listening to the “Remedy” album in its entirety was as if I was hearing the soundtrack to the last year of my life. For every emotion I could not name, “Remedy” identified it for me through song.
In the track “No One’s to Blame”, my feelings about my former relationship were summed up more poetically than I ever could: “Shattered dreams and suddenly, the world we knew would never be…The rush of love, a hiding game where everyone loses and no one’s to blame. The painful cries in the wreckage, our kingdom was our pilgrimage.” We have all lost touch with people who were once the center of our worlds, and sometimes the reality of the situation is too painful to describe. But when words fail us, music can connect us with what we are truly feeling.
“Remedy” has helped me heal old wounds. And every time I think of the journey that all began with dancing to Gabriel & Dresden, I’m struck by the lyrics from “Everything’s Coming on Strong”: “In the end, if we meet again, please tell me that you’ll be there just holding my hand.”
Your experience listening to “Remedy” will most certainly be different than mine. But it is impossible to hear the album without falling in love with Gabriel & Dresden all over again. Whether you’re dancing to “Luna”, which is reminiscent of their classic track “Tracking Treasure Down”, or singing along with Jan Burton’s vocals in “Keep On Holding”, this album will touch you.
Gabriel and Dresden kicked off the album’s release with the start of their Remedy Album Tour in Montreal, Canada. The first phase of tour dates have been announced, but more dates are expected to be added. One thing is for certain, with “Remedy” far exceeding even the highest of expectations, fans and Trance lovers everywhere are not going to want to miss this tour.
*Featured Image of Gabriel & Dresden Via Echostage*