E.P. SPOTLIGHT: GAVIN TUREK: break-up tape.

Los Angeles native Gavin Turek’s new E.P. might be entitled the “break-up tape.” but she is likely to break *out* in the not so distant future. And it would be about time, as she’s been working on various projects for a few years now. If you’re one of the cool kids then you’ve probably even heard her without realizing it. In fact, I own albums that she’s on and didn’t even realize it until I searched for her in my iTunes player. Perhaps you’ve heard her abstract collaborations with TOKiMONSTA (“Little Pleasures,” “Darkest (Dim),” “Clean Slate” and “Foolish”) or her electro-sweet work with Com Truise (Com Truise vs. Gavin Turek: A (Re)Mix Tape)?

The break-up tape. is a concept album, albeit in the form of an E.P. If you pay close attention to her brutally honest, sometimes scathing lyrics, Gavin takes you through the seven stages of loss in just three songs. And she does so all the while delighting your ears.


It begins with “Suffah,” during which she dumps a significant other who’s gotten on her bad side, probably by cheating on her. “Echoing loud in your conscience, young girl / Still you’re the last to know,” she sings with an air of sarcasm. She has a gorgeous high-pitched voice that falls somewhere in between Robyn and Kylie Minogue, which I consider to be a very, very good thing. (This is coming from a Kylie fanatic who has her name tattooed on his left wrist. Literally. So? It’s high praise.) And the beats are grade A, top shelf stuff, thumping along in a triumphant manner, there to reinforce her point, as though they’re waving the middle finger at her now ex-lover. “Suffah, suffah,” she sings over and over again, telling the ex what to do. “Some girls gotta learn the hard way / they never really get it ’til they get a heartbreak,” raps guest Rye Rye, whose rhymes mesh perfectly into the song. And you can tell that it’s a true collaboration, that Rye Rye knew the song when she wrote her lyrics. How many times do you hear rap stars doing guest spots on songs where their lyrics seem to have absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the song?

Next up is “Let Me Go!,” an uber-synthy, glimmering delight with a sleek ’80’s pop vibe during the verses. It’s so blissfully retro that you’d swear it’s a lost Laura Branigan or Debbie Gibson (or Kylie Minogue) song. But the synth and the beats go totally modern during the chorus, so it still comes across as a nice and contemporary slice of dance/electro-pop goodness. “Why don’t you let me go,” she sings over and over again, making it clear that she’s not going back to whoever she dumped during “Suffah.”

Finally, we have “Your Turn,” which switches things up. In this scenario it was her lover’s decision to leave, not her own. But now her lover wants her back and she’s firmly standing her ground, having none of it. “It’s a shame to see, you can’t get over me / even though, even though, it was you that chose to leave,” she sings during the first verse. But does she mean it? Maybe. Or maybe not. “It makes me happy for you to feel what I went through,” she declares — probably grinning — during the next. The infectious music consists of super funky bass, snappy beats and sunshiny synth. It’s quite bright and I imagine her future is,too.
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