Published Oct 22, 2019Gabrielle Papillon showcases versatility through pop on her seventh record. Glimmering with clean production choices, but never eclipsing her celebrated songwriting ability, Papillon imbues each of the seven tracks on Shout with a different flavour.
"Here's to smashing the boxes we don't belong in," reads the description for the "Shout It Out" video — a celebration of gender diversity set to an anthemic, inspiring pop track. The sentiment stands throughout Shout.
The Halifax-based artist pushes her sound further on this album, letting her vocals soar and ideas of strength, being yourself, and finding love in community guide the songs and tie them together in their differences. Put away expectations: this is a new direction for Papillon.
You can hear anxious undertones on "What Do I Know," which finds catchiness within relatable fears, and that recalls Marina and the Diamonds' The Family Jewels era — but also pure-spirited uplifting energy. The steady rhythm of the expansive "New Age Faces" brings new breath to the record. Where "Shout It Out" lingers with synths and high-pop energy, "Last Deep Breath" embraces a darker tone, swaying with the mantra: "This is your final step, this is your final warning."
Though the record shines with collaboration from composer Sarah DeCourcy — who's worked with Kylie Minogue — and Neon Dreams producer Corey LeRue, there is never a sense that the songs are outside of Papillon's experiences. She highlights this on the multi-faceted "Among the Queens": "Now I write for me and no one else, so I can share for everybody else." Joining her on the song is Toya Delazy, who delivers a raw rap verse that builds the track into an album highlight.
Throughout Shout, Papillon creates layers, then lingers in the moments before letting each piece come together for something grand. It is in these moments of convergence that the album stands strongest. (The State51 Conspiracy)