Gabby’s World is the music and lyrical world-building project of Gabrielle Smith. Smith began making music in 2007, constructing songs and ambient soundscapes out of experimental aural building blocks. Over the years, Smith’s songwriting has matured, focusing in on her interest in folk melodic and lyrical traditions while also developing a keen pop sensibility. The resulting music, showcased in albums like 2015’s O.K.,carefully treads the dynamic lines between expansiveness and intimacy, with a sound defined by emotional urgency and upbeat pop danceability. Lyrically, Smith's songs are baroque, drawing from themes more in line with the romantic poets than with contemporary pop songwriters. Smith’s newest musical pseudonym Gabby’s World emerges after an extended hiatus and hibernation period in which Smith reevaluated many of her values and ideas about art. Beast on Beast, the first album under the name Gabby’s World, deepens and complicates the stakes of Smith’s work even further, and will be released in late 2018.
Beast on Beast was recorded live in summer 2017 at Gravesend Studios in Brooklyn, the studio space in the since closed Silent Barn DIY venue. Engineered and mixed by Carlos Hernandez and Julian Fader of the Brooklyn art-rock band Ava Luna, the album captures the energetic live sound Smith has honed over the years with her band, a group of three accomplished songwriters of their own right: Oliver Kalb of Bellows, Felix Walworth of Told Slant, and Jack Greenleaf of Sharpless. The album showcases the energy and musical communication of the live band while simultaneously showcasing Smith's skill as a string and harmony arranger, featuring layered and complex violin sections and choral harmony singing that evoke a full orchestra underlining and bolstering the band's kinetic immediacy. Smith and Kalb produced the album over the course of fall 2017, adding layers of guitar noise and vocal harmonies, string and choral arrangements, and many musical contributions from friends, including Yoni Wolf of WHY?, Greta Kline of Frankie Cosmos, Luke Jenner of The Rapture, and Alex Bleeker of Real Estate.